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Pa. nursing home workers share frustration over lack of clarity regarding allocation of state funds

Tyreika Tate has been in the nursing home industry for over 30 years, but to her, the job has become simply overwhelming.

YORK, Pa. — Tyreika Tate has been in the nursing home industry for over 30 years and says the job has become overwhelming.

"On numerous occasions, I’ve had to work 12-hour shifts to make sure that the residents get their food, clean up behind them, and take care of the rest of my duties," said Tate. 

Tate says everything has been slowly going downhill. 

"Operators realized they could make more money by limiting the food we make, hiring fewer cooks, and not catering to the resident’s needs," said Tate. 

Just last month, the nursing home industry was able to secure $600 million in state funding.

“Those funds come with accountability, 70% of the funding must go to bedside care, funds that will truly transform this industry, and provide the care nursing home residents need and the good jobs workers deserve," said Matt Yarnell, the President of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania. 

Workers in 39 homes owned by Comprehensive Nursing Services, Guardian Healthcare, and Priority Healthcare are currently negotiating union contracts to make sure those funds go where they must. However, they say these nursing home chains are not doing right by workers, residents, families and taxpayers.

“Because they are not giving us the information we need in negotiating in good faith. We’ve asked for information about the use of staffing agency and the expense of that use," said Yarnell. 

On Thursday, nursing home workers filed unfair labor practice charges against the three chains. Workers say they are ready to go on strike if their demands are not met. 

“No one wants to go on strike, certainly not me. but if we are forced to go on strike, it will be because I’m standing up for my residents to demand that the nursing home industry treats our residents and us essential workers fairly," said Tate. 

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