Nearly 5,000 nursing home workers in Pennsylvania are getting raises.
Nursing home workers at 42 facilities across the state settled 42 union contracts. Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) have a path to earn $15 an hour. Non-nursing workers such as housekeepers and dietary aides will earn between $13 and $14 an hour.
"It’s difficult to describe how exciting it feels that we won $15 an hour in our new union contract," says Dana Roscoe, CNA, in a press release for SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, the state’s largest and fastest growing union of more than 25,000 healthcare workers. "Nursing home work is extremely hard and extremely important. This is the first step in helping turn this job into a career for me and for so many other caregivers across the state."
The wage increase will add more than $40 million into communities and help nursing home workers out of poverty. Fifty-two percent of Pennsylvania nursing home workers surveyed said they cannot support their families on the wages they earn. Nearly 15,000 workers relied on public assistance in the form of SNAP or Medicaid to make ends meet, according to findings from the Keystone Research Center. That costs taxpayers an estimated $118 million a year.
SEIU will help nursing home workers continue negotiating for fair union contracts, including a $15 minimum hourly wage. Workers will hit the streets in nine separate location across the state April 14 to celebrate successful negotiations and call on other employers to raise wages.