San Jose, CA—Nursing home workers at Courtyard Care Center in San Jose, California voted to form their union with SEIU 2015, the nation’s largest long-term caregivers union. Seventy-four certified nursing assistants, restorative nursing assistants, dietary and laundry aides, and housekeepers will have a union for the first time.
“Courtyard Care Center nursing home workers have joined the wave of caregivers across California who are standing together to positively impact the nursing home industry,” said Arnulfo De La Cruz, President of SEIU 2015. “With a voice at the table, these folks will be able to work with management to ensure staff receives the wages necessary to decrease turnover, increase staffing levels, and improve the quality of care at the facility.”
At the center of the unionization effort was the need for a raise in wages to reflect the high cost of living in Silicon Valley and attract workers. Facility operators and workers both aim to address staffing issues that often lead to high workloads and staff picking up extra shifts on their days off.
“In April of this year, four CNAs left the facility for higher paying jobs,” said Alejandra Martinez, a CNA at Courtyard Care Center for two years. “This leads to situations like having only four CNAs on the floor to care for sixty residents—all while worrying about how we’ll afford our rent or medical bills. With our first contract on the horizon, I’m hopeful we can work with management to uplift the quality of our jobs and the care we provide to our residents.”
Workers and operators at Courtyard Care Center will now be better positioned to ensure high quality of care for residents. Workers will now form a bargaining team and negotiate their first contract as members of SEIU 2015.