May 22, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Perth Amboy, NJ – Members of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East reached a contract agreement with Alameda Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare May 15, averting a 24-hour strike scheduled for May 17.
The deal, the union said in a statement, provides immediate and yearly wage increases and protects the workers’ pension and health-insurance benefits. The more than 150 union workers at the Perth Amboy nursing home hadn’t gotten a raise in almost four years, and new owner Eli Frankel had been demanding cuts in wages, health benefits, and time off for workers hired in the future. “We are very happy to reach an agreement that maintains good health insurance so we can stay healthy on the job while we care for our residents,” certified nursing assistant Diane Speckman, a member of the union’s bargaining committee, said in the statement. “We were united and ready to go out on strike, but I’m relieved that after a long day of bargaining we were finally able to reach a deal that respects the work we do as health-care workers.” Read more