The union representing employees of a Rochester nursing home are protesting. It is calling for its contract to be ratified and to have their demands met.
What You Need To Know
- Members of the 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East marched in front of The Pearl Nursing Center of Rochester
- David Jasinski, the attorney representing The Pearl, says they are trying to work out a contract with SEIU
- A mediator will step in later this week
Members of the 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East marched in front of The Pearl Nursing Center of Rochester on Monday. The union represents about 70 employees at the facility, including Frank McCoullum. He says, "I’m an 11:30 – 7:30 cook. I work here, the night cook, and I do the dinner meals for them and it’s a nice job."
McCoullum has been cooking meals for residents there for almost 10 years.
"But we want better pay, we want a better contract, that’s why we’re out here marching now," said McCoullum.
The union says The Pearl acquired the facility in February and has not honored a previously agreed upon contract — and they have a list of demands.
"Short staffing, they reneged on hazard pay, they have refused to acknowledge the union contract," said 1199 SEIU Vice President Tracey Harrison. "It’s just one problem after another."
Harrison is also calling for Black Lives Matter recognition for employees.
"When you look at this establishment, probably 85 to 90 percent of its staff are people of color. There are a lot of issues pertaining to the facility and it forces us to ask the question, do Black lives really matter to the employer? So far the evidence suggests it does not,” said Harrison.
David Jasinski, the attorney representing The Pearl, says they have nothing to hide, and says they are trying to work out a contract with SEIU but cannot speak to what had been agreed on with the previous owners.
"We are looking at reaching a collective bargaining agreement with SEIU representing the employees that's fair to the employees and fair to the facility moving forward, never losing sight of the care for the residents. We don't look at this in a confrontational way. And we clearly can't prevent anyone from engaging in free speech," Jasinski says.
"It’s kind of hard because it’s hard to take care of the residents too, you know, and being that we have this pandemic going on, it’s making it a lot harder," said McCoullum.
Harrison says a mediator will step in later this week.