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Workers Settle Contract at 10 Bay Area Nursing Homes
Date:7/2/2008

Tentative Agreement Shows Strength of 'One Healthcare Union' Approach

OAKLAND, Calif., July 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Nursing home workers at 10 Northern California facilities have reached a tentative agreement on a groundbreaking new contract covering more than 1,000 employees, which will give them some of the highest nursing home wages in the state and further strengthen their ability to provide quality care for residents.

SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West represents caregivers at 10 facilities operated by Mariner Health Care. The tentative contract settlement links workers' wages on a percentage basis with those at Kaiser Permanente hospitals, where workers are also members of UHW. It also establishes first- of-their-kind patient care committees that improve the workers' ability to advocate on behalf of patients and residents.

"This agreement shows that when employers and workers are willing to work toward a solution, we can get there," said Ruby Guzman, a certified nursing assistant at Creekside Health Center in San Pablo. "This represents a turning point in UHW's effort to build a new relationship with the nursing home industry-one based on improving care by investing in the workforce, much like our relationship with hospital systems in California."

The contract will cover workers at the following facilities: Fremont Health Center; Hayward Hills Healthcare Center, Driftwood Healthcare Center, and Parkview Convalescent Hospital in Hayward; Florin Healthcare Center in Sacramento; Almaden Health and Rehabilitation Center and Skyline Convalescent Hospital in San Jose; Creekside Health Center and Vale Care Center in San Pablo; and Pine Ridge Care Center in San Rafael.

Under the terms of the tentative agreement, all workers will receive wage increases of up to 16 percent over the life of the contract. Starting nurse assistants' wages will reach $16.61, the highest starting pay for this position in a nursing home in California. Addit
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SOURCE SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West
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