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Nursing home employees continue their strike for new contracts

Last Friday, more than a dozen nursing homes were affected in Pennsylvania when workers decided to strike after many new union contracts were not agreed upon.

DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. — The rain did not stop nursing home workers at The Gardens at Blue Ridge from continuing their strike for new contract negotiations. 

Last Friday, more than a dozen nursing homes were affected in Pennsylvania when workers decided to strike after many new union contracts were not agreed upon. 

Daniel Davin, an organizer with SEIU Healthcare of Pennsylvania, said that the unions and employers are at a stalemate.

"We did numerous bargaining and negotiation," said Davin. "They just won't come to an agreement. They won't meet us anywhere.”

Back in July, the new state budget passed and included more than $600 million dollars for long-term health care facilities. Since then, SEIU Healthcare of Pennsylvania said that they have been trying to negotiate for higher wages and address the staffing shortages plaguing nursing homes across the state. 

Donna Porter works at the Gardens at Blue Ridge as a CNA. She said while on the picket line that this fight includes more than just healthcare workers.

“We're out here fighting for our rights, we're out here fighting for the residents' rights," said Porter. "We shouldn't have to be out here doing this.”

Many of her co-workers share the same sentiment. Elaine Bethea said that she didn't want to have to strike, but believed that in order to fight for the residents, she had to join. 

“They depend on us, they love us, those people are suffering right now, no matter what care they're getting," said Porter. "They are suffering because they don't have their loved ones, which are us, in there with them.”

FOX43 has reached out to The Gardens at Blue Ridge for a comment about the strike but has not received a response. 

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