SEIU Local 2015 Implements Contract with Windsor Nursing Home in Sacramento Guaranteeing Personal Protective Equipment and Covid-19 Testing for Employees
After a Months Long Worker-Led Bargaining Campaign, the Nation’s Largest Long Term Care Union Reaches Agreement with One of California’s Largest Nursing Home Employers to Protect Patients and Workers, Averting a Strike
(Sacramento, CA) – SEIU Local 2015, California’s largest union representing long term caregivers throughout the state, today announced that a new contract with Windsor Sacramento skilled nursing facility has been implemented between the facility and workers in Sacramento to provide adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all employees. The victory comes after several months of bargaining and negotiations to achieve fair and equitable treatment and working conditions for workers in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. The workers had previously voted to authorize a strike as a last resort, and were backed by their Union’s statewide Executive Board. Wins achieved for care providers and residents include access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and COVID-19 testing.
The agreement states that the facility will make all reasonable efforts available to provide sufficient PPE to facility employees, including gowns, masks, N95 masks, shoe coverings, gloves, and disinfectant wipes. Prior to the agreement, employees and residents were faced with dangerous conditions maintained by the facility with a track record of mismanagement both during and before the pandemic. Because of this, employees were forced to take the most drastic step of a strike.
“We are thrilled to have reached an agreement for the members and residents living in this Windsor Facility,” said SEIU Local 2015 Executive Vice President Arnulfo De La Cruz. “In the middle of a pandemic, our members work tirelessly to provide the best care, but need PPE, regular testing and better working conditions to be able to properly and safely do their job. We will always ensure that workers’ needs are met and the safety of those we care for remains at the forefront.”
“I am proud of the work I do, caring for our most vulnerable during this COVID-19 crisis,” said SEIU Local 2015’s Sacramento-based member and Windsor employee Tamicka A. Ashley. “I am happy to have worked with my Union to achieve this victorious outcome. Windsor’s poor management and continued lack of transparency has put my fellow care providers and our patients in harm’s way, I am proud to be part of a Union that is fighting to keep us and our residents safe.”
Since 2017 there have been 89 inspection violations at Windsor’s Sacramento facility, three violations were specifically linked to communicable infections like COVID-19, establishing a clear pattern of mismanagement and disregard to the law. Windsor Sacramento is not an isolated case, approximately 90% of California’s nursing homes are privately owned, according to UC San Francisco professor emeritus Charlene Harrington, who studies skilled nursing facilities. Her research found that 75% of California facilities are owned by chains and those facilities that are owned by for-profit chains have lower staffing levels and more regulatory problems than non-profit facilities.
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 workers. 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:
- Evaluation and reconfiguration of the Medicare system which currently incentivises nursing home employers by rewarding higher payouts for short term patients, leaving long term patients with an even greater lack of quality care;
- Full transparency of corporate systems to ensure that profits contribute to higher quality of care and not executives’ bottom lines;
- Training for infectious control and a program that includes disaster preparedness with regular upskilling allowing for workers’ healthcare growth opportunities; as well as a recruitment program to fill current short-staffing and for future needs;
- Pay and benefits that demonstrate the value of nursing home workers not just in this moment, but moving forward and always;
- Further investment in recruitment and training of workers to meet the 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.
ABOUT SEIU LOCAL 2015
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.