Fresno, CA – Workers from Fresno Nursing Center – members of SEIU 2015, the nation’s largest long-term care union and California’s largest labor union – are picketing dangerous working conditions, including high staff turnover and dangerously low staffing levels.
According to ProPublica’s Nursing Home Database, Fresno Nursing Center averages a staff turnover rate of 70.5% – 24.4% higher than California’s already-unacceptable state average. Workers at the facility point to low wages and overwhelming workloads as a contributing factor to the chronic understaffing.
“I’m a single mother living paycheck-to-paycheck. In Fresno, it takes $35.69 an hour for one adult and one kid to survive. On average, my coworkers and I make $17.23 an hour. It’s no surprise our facility can’t keep enough staff to make sure our residents are safe,” said Elsa Osorio, a cook at Fresno Nursing Center.
The facility is owned by Eduro Healthcare, which operates 41 facilities across 9 states, including Stockton Nursing Center, another facility represented by SEIU 2015.
Today’s picket is a joint action between the two facilities who have been in on-going contract negotiations as a single bargaining unit. Negotiations have dragged on for 356 days due to Eduro Healthcare operators’ refusal to engage in productive dialogue with SEIU 2015. Workers at both Eduro-owned facilities aim to bring the facilities’ operator back to the bargaining table to protect residents and workers alike.
“Our members know what’s at risk when facilities don’t maintain adequate staffing levels. Without enough staff, residents miss meals and medications, risk injuries, and go without the hygienic care they need to stay healthy. The only way to begin repairing this crisis is by paying nursing home workers enough to survive and stay in the profession,” said SEIU 2015 Executive Vice President, Dereck Smith.
Participating SEIU members will be available on-site for interviews and can speak to today’s actions in addition to the breadth of member mobilization for better working conditions and resident safety in the long-term care industry.
To learn more about SEIU Local 2015 visit www.SEIU2015.org or on social media @SEIU2015.