Issued June 07, 2022
Nationwide — SEIU nursing home workers from across the country are uniting their local demands and going national with their campaign, starting with a nationwide day of action in nearly a dozen states on June 8.
Nursing home workers have identified common issues across the country and are organizing around demands including safe staffing, unions for all, and quality, affordable care for residents. From California to Pennsylvania to Florida and beyond, these workers have identified solutions to our nation’s growing crisis in nursing homes that respect and protect workers and residents alike.
Now, they’re taking their fight to a national level in a coordinated and sustained campaign that will include worker mobilizations, advocacy and investment aimed at reaching federal regulators, state officials, and nursing home employers directly. The Biden Administration has begun proposing measures to improve nursing home jobs and hold employers accountable, in part because nursing home workers have raised their voices directly to administration officials to demand reform.
“Nursing home workers from coast to coast are united in our demands for nothing short of transformation in our nation’s nursing home industry, which starts with listening to the residents and workers like me who care for them. While our country tries to move on from Covid-19, our pain from these past few years remains. We’ve lost friends, coworkers and residents we care about. And to make matters worse, we’re still overworked, underpaid and under-appreciated,” said New York Licensed Practical Nurse Gloria Reed. “Nursing home workers are coming together on June 8 across states, generations and backgrounds, to say with one voice: now is the time for action. We refuse to wait any longer.”
WHAT: Nursing home workers to hold bold, public actions in over 12 states, raise demands for Unions for All as a solution to the overlapping crises facing their industry, including low pay, scant benefits, and unsafe staffing that is harming residents and workers alike.
WHO: Nursing home workers, members of the Service Employees International Union, community leaders, allies
WHEN: June 8, 2022
WHERE: California, Connecticut, Florida, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, and West Virginia
Following decades of challenges made worse by a global pandemic, the nursing home industry has reached a critical juncture. Ten thousand people turn 65 daily and demand for care is skyrocketing. A recent study showed 47 percent of nursing homes are at risk of closing, and countless families are already struggling to find quality, affordable long term care for their loved ones. Workers are leaving the industry characterized by low pay, overwork and even underreported Covid deaths in droves.
“The status quo in our nursing homes is not working—not for workers, residents, or for families. As the nation looks to move past Covid-19, nursing home workers and residents are facing a system on the brink of collapse,” said SEIU President Mary Kay Henry. “It's Black and brown women who are keeping nursing homes running, caring for residents even as the industry barely hangs on. These same women are supporting the communities that have been devastated by overlapping crises. That’s why workers are taking action now across the country to demand nursing home workers be respected, protected, and paid living wages.”
For years, nursing home workers have been taking local action to demand respect on the job, greater protections and livable wages. Workers are now building an intergenerational, multi-racial movement to transform how we provide long term care in this country. On June 8, backed by allies and community leaders, workers will come together to escalate their activity with coordinated actions in states including California, Connecticut, Florida, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, and West Virginia.