Nurses, nursing assistants and elder-care support staff at four skilled nursing homes operated by Spectrum Healthcare went on strike today in Ansonia, Derby, Hartford and Winsted. Picket lines will be up every day from 6 AM to 12 midnight until a settlement is reached.
Despite the efforts of a federal mediator to find a resolution to the contract dispute, Spectrum, based in Vernon, CT, made virtually no movement on the key issues in negotiations, which were attended by more than 100 members from all four of the affected fatalities. The union's Negotiating Committee offered to meet all day and through the night on Wednesday, but the company's attorney refused the offer.
District 1199 Vice President Almena Thompson said, "Operators of 32 other nursing homes covering almost 4,000 long-term care workers in Connecticut agreed to contracts that skipped raises in 2009 but included 2.5% wage increase this year. Spectrum is demanding that their employees go without any wage increases until July 2011--more then 2.5 years."
"Then Spectrum threatens to hire permanent replacements if workers exercise their legal right to strike. If the other operators can come to terms, why can't Spectrum?"
The union has begun a TV campaign focused on Spectrum's. The first ad can be seen at: http://www.seiu1199ne.org/.
JOIN THE PICKET LINES ANYTIME FROM 6AM TO 12 MIDNIGHT. The locations are:
BIRMINGHAM HEALTH CENTER -- 210 Chatfield St. -- Derby, CT
HILLTOP HEALTH CENTER - 126 Ford St. - Ansonia, CT
LAUREL HILL HEALTHCARE - 108 East Lake St. - Winsted, CT
PARK PLACE HEALTH CENTER - 5 Greenwood St. - Hartford, CT
Other Park Place photos taken on 4-15-10 [Click on photo for full screen]