A union representing 300 healthcare workers at Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center announced it reached an agreement with administration last night.
SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania provided management a list of demands yesterday in response to a growing chorus of concerns raised by healthcare workers as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak at the facility. SEIU officials said they were pleased with the negotiations, which resulted in Brighton Rehab accommodating each of the union’s requests.
“I think it is great we’ve made progress,” said Shania Taylor, a Certified Nursing Assistant, who is currently waiting for her COVID-19 test result. “It brings a little peace of mind to all of us. Workers are scared of catching this virus and passing it along to our residents. Now we are going to hold management accountable to working transparently with us to give us what we need to do our jobs, and keep everyone safe, and problem solve together in our fight against this Pandemic.”
SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania President Matthew Yarnell also said he was satisfied by the agreement reached with management.
“We should not have gotten to this point, and it will be a challenge to get the PPE, but we are committed to keeping everyone at Brighton safe,” said Yarnell, who also used the opportunity to take a swipe at the Trump administration.
“We have been failed in this moment by the Trump administration’s slow response and lack of action. This is a clear example of why President Trump must enact the Defense Production Act of 1950 to repurpose manufacturing in the US to produce N95 masks, gowns, gloves, other PPE and ventilators. We’re already way behind where we should be, and that’s inexcusable. But we need to meet this moment where we are.”
Among the provisions agreed to include:
– N95s for every worker on the quarantined unit.
– Face masks and gowns for direct care workers on other units.
– Proper PPE for all employees, and N95s for workers who are immunocompromised or request them for personal health reasons.
– Testing for all employees, done onsite, with 24-hour results.
– Residents who test positive must be isolated.
– No retaliation against workers who have spoken out publicly.
– Appoint high level leadership point person on the ground to work directly with member union leaders (workers) inside the building to ensure transparency and communication.
– Work together to use federal stimulus money to pay for workers’ time who were out for COVID-related issues, so they are not forced to use their own sick days or vacation time.
Hazard pay will also be given to every worker at Brighton Rehab, the details of which are still being worked out.