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Caregivers Demand Better Patient Care at Eight Bay Area Nursing Homes

SALINAS, Calif., July 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Caregivers at eight Bay Area nursing homes held simultaneous demonstrations Tuesday afternoon to pressure their employer, Windsor Healthcare Management, to make much needed improvements in resident care and patient safety.

"Today, hundreds of nursing home workers came together to fight for our residents' right to quality and reliable medical care," said Hilda Gil, a Certified Nursing Assistant at The Ridge Care & Rehabilitation in Salinas. "Caregivers won't allow Windsor Healthcare Management to ignore the voices of its patients or avoid keeping its promise to the seniors, veterans and people with disabilities in our communities."

The protest was organized by nursing home workers at Windsor Manor Rehabilitation Center in Concord, Country Drive Care Center and Windsor Park Care Center in Fremont, Windsor Gardens Care Center in Hayward, Windsor Monterey Care Center in Monterey, and Skyline Care Center, The Ridge Care & Rehabilitation and Windsor Gardens Rehabilitation Center in Salinas.

Since July 2007, more than 360 violations of health and safety regulations were documented at Windsor facilities during regular federal surveys. Over the same period, 58 patient complaints against Windsor were verified by the Department of Health and Human Services on issues ranging from short-staffing to fire hazards.

To help address these conditions, more than 650 nursing home workers - represented by SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West - have been in contract negotiations with Windsor for more than a year in four facilities and several months at four others. Caregivers have made proposals to help ensure quality resident care by reducing staff turn-over and establishing an employee training and education fund. However, Windsor refuses to adopt the caregivers' proven solutions to raise standards for resident care.

"The biggest responsibility of my job is to provide the best possible treatment to my residents," said Alicia Perez, a Restorative Nursing Assistant at Skyline Care Center. "All we're asking is that Windsor agree to our common-sense contract proposals that will greatly benefit patients, employees and the community."

The negotiations are part of UHW's historic 2008 campaign, in which more than 75,000 healthcare workers throughout California will negotiate new contracts. Healthcare workers at more than 100 nursing homes and over 50 hospitals are seeking new agreements in what maybe the largest-ever coordinated bargaining effort in the healthcare industry.

With more than 150,000 members, SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West is the fastest-growing healthcare union in the United States. We represent healthcare workers in all job classifications and all healthcare settings, including hospitals, homecare, nursing homes and clinics. Our mission is to achieve high-quality healthcare for all.

SOURCE SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West
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