October 2, 2015
By Tara Jessup
Yonkers, NY – Senator Stewart-Cousins’ brought management and employees together at the Michael Malotz Skilled Nursing Pavilion in Yonkers. Not only was the closing of the facility avoided but the staff received raises. A dispute over wages and benefits for healthcare workers who are members of SEIU1199 threatened the pending sale of the facility from St. John’s Hospital to Adira Rehabilitation.
"From my perspective, there were too many lives hanging in the balance: the residents who depend on quality nursing home care; workers facing a diminished standard of living; and a hospital straining under the weight of a nursing home it could no longer afford. That's why I felt it extremely important to bring the parties back to the table and help them stay there, until a deal was reached.
Now, Adira will provide excellent nursing home care in partnership with 1199 workers, who will maintain their wages and benefits, so St. John's can continue to focus on what they do best, providing great hospital care," Said Senator Stewart-Cousins.As a result of the Senator’s intervention and three weeks of tough negotiations, St. John’s was able to move forward with the sale to Adira, and the union announced a contract settlement on August 21, 2015
.Ari Stein, the CEO of Adira Rehabilitation commented that Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins efforts in the negotiation process between 1199 SEIU healthcare workers, St. John's Riverside Hospital and Adira at Riverside Rehabilitation was critical to a mutual agreement. “Fortunately, the settlement indicates that St. John’s and Adira understand what 1199 and our elected officials have been saying all along–quality patient care and good jobs are the key to the health and prosperity of our region,” said Maria Kercado, 1199 SEIU Executive Vice President