Nursing Home Workers Unanimously Vote ‘YES’ to First Contract
On September 22nd, the workers at Oak Hill Health & Rehabilitation Center in Pawtucket, RI, unanimously voted ‘YES’ to their first union contract. These workers include certified nursing assistants, per diems, activities assistants, nursing clerks, housekeeping, dietary cooks and aides. At the beginning of this year, organizers Sam Marvin and Matt Costa, along with the help of international organizer Aspacio Alcantara, spoke to workers as they left and entered work. These conversations resulted in the development of union meetings outside of work where the workers described their workplace and the changes they desired. After explaining the union process, organizers and committee members began signing up workers on authorizations cards. After getting a majority of authorization cards signed, the company accepted a successful card check on May 28th.
The negotiations took place over the course of the next few months where the union, along with a committee of workers from the nursing home, negotiated for guaranteed wages increases, paid sick time, paid holidays, paid vacations, differential pay, bonuses, and job security. One of the most important benefits the workers won is that their seniority is now dated back to their original date of hire, not the date of when the nursing home was recently purchased. We are very happy to welcome these workers to our Local and look forward to getting know each and every one of them.
Tim Melia, President of UFCW Local 328, said of the victory, “As President of Local 328, I am proud and honored to have this fine group of hard working women and men become members of the Local 328 union family. Congratulations and welcome.”