More than 1,300 skilled nursing home workers across 18 Providence Home and Community Care facilities win better pay/benefits and improved workplace conditions through the new agreement
Los Angeles, CA— Nursing home workers and members of SEIU Local 2015, the nation’s largest long-term care union representing nearly 450,000 long-term care workers in California, announced today they have reached an agreement with Providence Home and Community Care—the state’s largest nursing home operator—on a new contract that will deliver vital wage increases and improved benefits for hundreds of essential workers, helping to stabilize the nursing home industry.
The new agreement will strengthen workplace conditions for more than 1,300 skilled nursing home workers who provide care to approximately 900 patients and residents across 18 facilities throughout California, including in Los Angeles, Alameda, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Fresno counties. This victory for SEIU 2015 members is the result of a months-long campaign organized directly by a team of workers from various Providence facilities who collaborated to bring a unified set of proposals to the bargaining table that addresses the diverse needs of nursing home workers and those they care for.
“This is a monumental victory in our ongoing efforts to increase wages and improve the lives of long-term care workers in California,” said Arnulfo De La Cruz, President-elect of SEIU Local 2015. “By reaching an agreement with California’s largest nursing home operator, our members have sent a message to the state’s broader long-term care industry that they will not stop fighting until their compensation and benefits are reflective of the vital work they do every day to care for vulnerable people. Moreover, this bargaining process, which was led entirely by nursing home workers from various Providence facilities, sets an important precedent for workers across the state on how to effectively organize to enact change. This is a huge win and I look forward to working with other members across California to reach similar victories for long-term care providers.”
This new three-year contract will deliver an annual three percent wage increase for Providence employees, with the option for additional raises built into the contract. Other important wins secured through this contract include:
- Improved health benefits: Providence will increase its contribution to employee healthcare plans by 5–20%, depending on the employee’s length of tenure.
- In addition, Providence will offer workers residing and working in rural counties with alternative health care plans that improve access to care.
- Enhanced retirement benefits: Providence will increase its contribution to employee 401k plans by 5–20%, depending on the employee’s length of tenure.
- State Retention Bonus: Providence will now proactively provide employees with the documentation necessary to obtain enhanced COVID-bonus pay provided by the State of California.
This new contract comes at a precarious moment for California’s long-term care industry, which has been battered by the dual challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and pre-existing workforce shortages. More than 238,000 nursing home workers have left the industry nationwide since the start of the pandemic. California alone has lost 11% of its nursing home workforce, while the demand only continues to grow. A poll by SEIU Local 2015 found that staffing shortages in the healthcare industry were the number one concern of nursing home workers—edging out inflation, COVID-19, affordable healthcare, affordable housing, and the economy, among other issues. 82% said they were extremely concerned, with an additional 8% expressing concern.
While there is always more work to be done, this new agreement will go a long way to ensuring that nursing home jobs with Providence are good, quality employment opportunities that can help stop the skyrocketing turnover rate that has left many facilities understaffed.
“This contract will bring more equitable treatment for all Providence workers. Being a CNA is difficult work that strains both your body and soul. Care workers must be supported,” said Jesus Figueroa, a CNA at Westview Healthcare in Auburn CA., and a member of the union’s bargaining committee. “This new contract marks fresh beginnings. I’m proud of all the workers who stood together on picket lines to send a strong message. Now we will continue to stand together to enforce our contract and hold facility operators accountable. We’ll keep fighting for the pay, healthcare, and retirement benefits necessary to attract much-needed workers.”
To learn more about SEIU Local 2015 visit www.SEIU2015.org or on social media @SEIU2015.