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Union healthcare workers to picket outside nursing homes, long-term care facilities Tuesday afternoon

Members want nursing home regulations to be updated for a better working environment.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — On May 25, more than 4,000 SEUI Healthcare Pa. members are expected to picket outside of their nursing homes or long-term care facilities.

The reason for the event has been months in the making. In February, SEUI Health Pa. members called on state legislators to update the state's nursing home regulations. Since they say nothing's been done, they will picket. 

SEIU Healthcare Pa. is a labor union that represents thousands of healthcare workers across the Commonwealth and calls the state's nursing home regulations archaic, as they have not been updated for decades. They say the pandemic has also put a strain on working conditions, exposing the weaknesses of the healthcare system at nursing homes and long-term care facilities. 

They also say understaffing, poor retention of workers, and unacceptable conditions have created an environment that cannot withstand the pandemic.

The following is what they are advocating for: 

  • State leaders to update nursing home regulations to require enough staff for resident care. Specifically, increasing the minimum staffing requirement -- which is now only 2.7 hours of care per day per resident -- to 4.1 hours of care per day, which is what CARIE, AARP, federal government, and dozens of scholars and advocates agree is necessary to provide patients with a safe environment and quality care.
  • Better union contracts to help with retention of nursing home staff, including support and training to provide culturally competent, person-centered care and a focus on health equality for communities of color and those hardest hit by the pandemic.
  • More protections for those living in these long-term care facilities when nursing homes are sold or undergo change of ownership, which often results in deteriorating conditions and job standards

The protest is set to begin at 2 p.m.

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