More than 1,000 nursing home workers from 13 facilities in Michigan could go on strike if agreements aren’t reached soon with their five parent companies on higher wages, affordable healthcare and staffing levels. 

“We take care of the most vulnerable residents in our community and deserve respect from our employers,” said Shawnna Hodges, a nursing assistant at Hartford Nursing and Rehabilitation in a statement provided to McKnight’s Long-Term Care News through her union, the SEIU. “We are ready to do whatever it takes for a new contract.”

The 13 nursing homes are owned by Ciena Healthcare, Patel, Orchard, Optalis Health and Rehabilitation, and Pioneer Healthcare Management. The list of facilities, as provided by a spokesman for the SEIU Healthcare-MI, is: The Orchards Michigan – Redford; Westwood Nursing Center; Beaconshire Nursing Center; Fountain Bleu Health and Rehab; Pine Creek Manor; Heritage Manor; Willowbrook Manor; Regency of Livonia; Sheffield Manor; Manor of Farmington; Regency of Whitmore Lake; Hartford Nursing and Rehabilitation; and Regency of Westland.

Messages left with each of the facilities and their parent companies seeking comment for this article were not returned. 

In an interview late last year, Ciena Senior Vice President Amy La Fleur told McKnight’s that the company had increased wages across its extensive network, but that it was not always offering top dollar in each market. La Fleur said some operators were pricing high to attract labor for the short-term, but she noted that overextending on wages without higher state reimbursement would  threaten long-term viability.

The union spokesman said members at each nursing home are in the process of voting on whether to strike. They must provide 10-day notice to the facility before a strike can occur. There is no strike date set yet.Staffers have been out of a contract for nearly two years, according to a report Monday from ClickOnDetroit.