Thousands of Pa. nursing home workers demand change

Regional News

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Thousands of Pennsylvania nursing home workers are picketing to demand reform. They’ll be protesting at more than 40 nursing homes across the state Tuesday.

Three of those locations being Haida Health and Rehab Center in Cambria County, Meyersdale in Somerset County and William Penn Healthcare and Rehab in Mifflin County.

Events at Haida and William Penn will be from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and the event at Meyersdale is scheduled from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Nurses union SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania says caregivers are demanding the Governor and other state leaders update nursing home regulations, which have remained the same for nearly 30 years. They want those to prevent staffing shortages that impact residents’ care.

They’re also fighting for union contracts that address wages they claim have led to a 128% average turnover rate in nursing home staff.

4,500 Pennsylvania nursing home workers will negotiate new union contracts this year.

Another big priority is protections for seniors and caregivers when nursing homes are sold, as well as transparency in that process for the tax payers contributing to their public funding.

SEIU Healthcare says nursing home workers were sounding the alarm before COVID, and the lack of changes contributed to the more than 13,000 coronavirus deaths since the pandemic began.

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