Long-term care providers in New York and Detroit could be without more than a thousand workers soon, after employees authorized strikes in unrelated pushes for better working conditions and better pay. 

In New York, more than 1,200 workers at 12 nursing homes have authorized one-day strikes after failed negotiations for a new labor agreement with Elderwood, its operator. Workers are seeking a $15 minimum hourly wage, higher starting rates and wage scales for experienced employees, according to 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.

Most have been without contracts since April 30, union sources said. They are planning strikes on July 12 and 13 but representatives have added that they will not take place if more progress is made in negotiations.

The provider issued a brief statement, noting that it prefers to address the issues in a private manner.

“We continue to focus our efforts at the bargaining table and to engage in meaningful dialog about the concerns 1199SEIU has put forth to date,” Elderwood said in a statement to local media. “So far, we believe that substantive progress toward a new agreement has been made. This includes a wage plan that represents the most generous wage offer Elderwood has ever extended in a collective bargaining environment.” 

In Detroit, workers at the SKLD Bloomfield Hills, a 159-bed skilled nursing facility, have approved a scheduled strike for July 11, according to SEIU Healthcare Michigan. They’re seeking better staffing levels and more resources.

“You want to make sure your patients are taking care of, and they’ve taken care properly,” Kasandra Kemp, a certified nursing assistant at the facility, said. “But when we’re understaffed and we’re overworked like that, it is inhumane to think that people can keep going.”