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Pennsylvania Nursing-Home Chain Won’t Recognize Union Contracts

June 18, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

BANGOR, Pa.—A Cleveland-based company in the process of taking over more than 10 Pennsylvania nursing homes is refusing to recognize their contracts with SEIU Healthcare, sparking fears among workers that their job security and benefits are on the chopping block. Saber Healthcare Group has already frozen wages at four facilities, SEIU spokesperson Jenn Landolina Wood told the Allentown Morning Call, as well as “substantially” increasing workers’ health-care costs by switching them from a joint union-employer insurance plan to its corporate plan. A Saber attorney said the company is seeking a contract “consistent with our other collective bargaining agreements.” Cara Setzer, 54, a certified nursing assistant who has worked at the Slate Belt Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Bangor for 24 years, says she is trying to find another job before Saber takes it over July 1. She fears the five weeks vacation time her seniority has earned will be cut in half. “I’ve worked for seniority, and they just want to wipe it out,” said housekeeper Mary Hower, 59, who has worked at Slate Belt since it opened in 1981, and like Setzer was part of an “informational picket” June 1. “It’s just not fair.” Read more

June 18, 2018

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