Caregivers at Auglaize Acres March on County Commissioners, Demanding Preservation of Quality Care for Nursing Home Residents

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 17, 2013

CONTACT:
Brenda Millhouse, Administrative Organizer
Phone: 614-477-1647 | bmillhouse@seiu1199.org

Caregivers at Auglaize Acres March on County Commissioners, Demanding Preservation of Quality Care for Nursing Home Residents

Penny Johnson, Marsha Blauvelt, Susan Elliott, Michelle Brown

Wapakoneta, Ohio – Quality care and services should always be a top priority for our seniors and people with disabilities. Unfortunately, Administrator Connie Peirce at Auglaize Acres Nursing Home and the Auglaize County Commissioners could be putting that at risk if they move forward with plans to reduce the amount of time employees are able to spend with nursing home residents.

“As hard-working employees of Auglaize Acres, our Union members wake up every day with one thing on their mind – how can they provide the best care to our residents,” said Brenda Millhouse, Administrative Organizer for SEIU District 1199 and chief negotiator. “Today, a group of workers took that message directly to the Commissioners, asking that they bargain in good faith in the best interest of those our members serve.”

A group of SEIU District 1199 members marched into the regular meeting of the Auglaize County Commissioners today after attempts to schedule bargaining with nursing home management have been unsuccessful. Union representatives have filed charges with the State Employees Relations Board (SERB) demanding that management discontinue bargaining in bad faith and meet with union members for contract negotiations.

The main concern of the workers is the employer’s demand to change the work week from 40 hours to 36 hours. This is a major issue for employees who worry they may not be able to provide for their residents or their own families with the proposed hours reduction.

The members of SEIU District 1199 employed at Auglaize Acres understand the economic situation of the nursing home as demonstrated by their willingness to agree to a pay freeze for the last four years. Additionally, Auglaize Acres staff has already agreed to forgo any increase in wages for the next two years as well.

“We are concerned about our ability to care for our residents and retain the best caregivers for those that need our services in this community,” said Susan Elliot, a state-tested nursing assistant at Auglaize Acres. “We understand tough times require shared sacrifice, we are just asking that we be able to have the time we need to provide quality care and services to our residents and maintain our work hours so we can provide for our families.”

Photo Attached: Penny Johnson, Marsha Blauvelt, Susan Elliott, Michelle Brown

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