Niagara Falls nursing home strikes tentative deal with union

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Niagara Falls nursing home has reached a tentative agreement with 1199SEIU.

According to the union, the tentative deal would impact more than 70 workers at Schoellkopf Health Center, which is attached to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. It includes Juneteenth and Labor Day as paid holidays and a 10-step wage scale with additional longevity increases for employees.

“In addition, the tentative agreement includes an average 11 percent wage increase retroactive to May 1 with some workers receiving up to 34 percent,” the union said.

Workers represented by 1199SEIU include licensed practical nurses, certified nurse assistants, unit clerks and laundry aides.

The news of this tentative agreement comes as workers from four local Absolut Care facilities, who are also represented by 1199SEIU, are set to start striking on Thursday.

“It is incredibly disappointing that our negotiations with Absolut Care are in stark contrast to Schoellkopf’s approach, which put workers and quality resident care first,” 1199SEIU Vice-President for WNY Nursing Homes Grace Bogdanove said. “Absolut Care management has approached negotiations with a focus on keeping their facilities some of the lowest paid in the area and putting profit over workers, with millions of dollars spent on related party transactions rather than investing in the healthcare workers who provide care to some of the most vulnerable members of our rural communities.”

A vote on the tentative Schoellkopf Health Center deal will take place “soon,” the union said.

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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