Michigan nursing home workers win statewide seat with new Council for Industry Change

12/21/2021

Move a big step forward to improve care for Michigan's rapidly aging population and to advance racial and gender justice

Following years of organizing and workers raising the alarm about the growing crisis in the nursing home industry, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order establishing the Nursing Home Workforce Stabilization Council, a table bringing workers, employers, and government officials together to address long-standing problems, collaborate on solutions and lay the groundwork for a sustainable, equitable nursing home industry.

The council is an innovative approach to ensure workers have a meaningful voice in decisions about how to raise wages and standards industry-wide.

Michigan's nursing home workers, who are majority women, many women of color, applauded the move as a big step forward to improve care for Michigan's rapidly aging population and to advance racial and gender justice.

“Over the last nineteen months, our demands to be respected, protected and paid fairly have only become more urgent, which is why I’m thrilled that Governor Whitmer has answered our calls by bringing workers and industry together to collaborate on solutions to the issues that impact both our workforce and our residents. Together, on equal footing, the members of the Nursing Home Workforce Stabilization Council have a real opportunity to enact long-term, meaningful change within the industry,” said Mary McClendon, a Detroit nursing home worker of over 37 years and SEIU Healthcare Michigan member.

This comes on the heels of another victory last month in Detroit where essential workers fought to pass an ordinance establishing Industry Standards Boards so Detroit workers have a seat at the table and a say in the conditions of their work.

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