Health and Safety, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, National

Pennsylvania Drug-Rehab Workers Go on One-Day Strike

October 26, 2017

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

KINGSTON, Pa.—About 150 SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania members went on strike for one day Oct. 20 at First Hospital, a for-profit opioid-addiction treatment and mental-health facility in this Wilkes-Barre suburb. Workers told the Wilkes-Barre Citizens’ Voice that they have been trying to negotiate a contract for more than a year, but owner Commonwealth Health has failed to address their need for higher pay, better training, and safety. “You could have someone who is going through withdrawal and they can become very agitated, or you could have somebody sneak in a weapon or paraphernalia,” said mental-health technician Robert Chaparro, who makes $10.40 an hour. “It kind of makes me feel really unappreciated knowing that you can make $12.75 an hour packing dog food at Chewy, or $12 an hour at Aldi to scan items,” added Abby Casey, who works in the unit for people with severe mental-health issues. A Commonwealth Health spokesperson said the hospital had “qualified, properly credentialed staff” substituting for the strikers. “They could easily just resolve things and do what’s right,” responded SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania vice president Kevin Hefty. Workers doing the same job at Moses Taylor Hospital in Scranton are paid $12.20 an hour, he added.

Read more here.

October 26, 2017

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.