SEIU Contract Victory – Kingston Skill Nursing Facility Press Release

August 1, 2021
Posted in Press
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SEIU Local 2015 Ratifies Contract with Kingston Skilled Nursing Facility, Guaranteeing Workers A Two Percent Pay Raise

Nursing Home That Lost 100 Residents and Workers to Coronavirus Agrees to Raise Wages for All Workers

(Bakersfield, CA) – SEIU Local 2015, California’s largest union representing long term caregivers throughout the state, today announced the adoption of a new contract with Kingston Skilled Nursing Facility which guarantees at least a 2% raise for all workers and up to 8.5% depending on the number of years working. The raise will start August 1 and members will be paid retroactively starting in November. Additionally, the contract imposes time limits on disciplinary action from management.

The agreement came into effect in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, during which over 100 members and residents of the Kingston Skilled Nursing Facility died. During contract negotiations, Kingston Management offered a proposal that refused to raise wages for non-nursing staff who were still at risk coming to work. Members stood by one another, recognizing that all staff deserved a raise. The agreement came after several actions inside and outside the facility, including an online petition that garnered 192 signatures, and a strong commitment for a strike, which is only called in the most dire negotiations.

“We are happy to have reached an agreement for all the members working in Kingston Skilled Nursing Facility,” said SEIU Local 2015 Executive Vice President, Dereck Smith. “We are committed to the livelihood and well-being of our members and will continue to fight for wages that reflect the essential nature of their work. We hope that Kingston will continue to recognize the dedication and hard work from our members.”

Since January 2020, SEIU Local 2015 has worked with counties and nursing homes across the state of California to ratify 47 contracts, securing better wages, benefits and access to training for over 43,300 members. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage communities across California, and the state’s aging population is expected to grow at increasingly high rates, SEIU Local 2015 will continue to advocate for long term care workers at the frontline of the pandemic. In order to adequately address the growing issues plaguing the long term care industry, SEIU Local 2015 is advocating local and federal governments to take actions including:

  • Investment and deployment of IHSS workers as a community health force to lead on caring for the homebound during the pandemic;
  • Training for infectious control and disaster preparedness with regular upskilling that allows for workers’ matriculate into other healthcare industry job growth opportunities;
  • Evaluation and reconfiguration of the current patchwork county by county system to create a standardized statewide system that improves recipient’s care, and every worker’s pay and benefits – including fully-funded, accessible healthcare that demonstrate the value of in-home caregivers;
  • Comprehensive workforce development and a recruitment program to fill current short-staffing and meet growing demands of the aging population.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, SEIU Local 2015 members and leaders have continued to address the ongoing needs of people working on the frontlines of our healthcare system and have remained committed to calling on the administration to prioritize the nation’s essential long term care workers.

To learn more about SEIU Local 2015 visit www.SEIU2015.org or on social media @SEIU2015.

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Representing over 400,000 long term care workers (home care, skilled nursing facility, and assisted living center workers), SEIU Local 2015 is the largest union in California. Its members are as diverse as the state’s population but united in their commitment to caring for California’s most vulnerable: seniors and the disabled.