WV/KY Healthcare

SEIU District 1199’s West Virginia and Kentucky Healthcare division represents nearly 7,000 workers. These fields include hospitals, nursing homes, community action agencies, clinics, councils on aging, Head Start, mental health, and blood services including the Red Cross.

We Honor Your Service and Sacrifice

SEIU District 1199 is proud to represent many Union members who have served our nation. This year for Veterans Day, we would like to share photos to honor those with military service backgrounds. 

As you may know, the Union started a Veterans Caucus last year and members can sign up online. If you send us photos from your military service, we would like to spotlight and honor member veterans on social media. 

Send any service related photos to be shared online on Veterans Day by sending them to media@seiu1199.org. Together, we thank you and honor your service and sacrifice. 

In Solidarity, 

Becky Williams  President 
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

Nursing Home Protective Equipment Crisis

Cabell Huntington Hospital Nurses Vote Yes in Strike Empowerment Vote

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Nurses with Cabell Huntington Hospital held a strike empowerment vote that concluded tonight at 9PM. The nurses voted overwhelmingly to authorize the bargaining committee to issue a 10-day strike notice, if needed. The nurses are calling on hospital executives to negotiate a fair and equitable contract in good faith.

Staff Contact: Joyce Gibson at (304) 654-0824
For Immediate Release: Saturday, October 31st

HUNTINGTON, WEST VIRGINIA – Nurses with Cabell Huntington Hospital have  overwhelmingly voting to empower their bargaining committee to issue a 10-day strike notice, if needed. The nurses have been voting over the last two days at the Double Tree Hotel in Huntington after negotiating with hospital executives over the last nine months for a contract that protects quality care and restores health care benefits.

“As nurses with Cabell Huntington Hospital, we have again spoken resoundingly and this vote shows that hospital executives must resolve issues around staffing and benefits,” said Erin Johnson, a labor and delivery nurse. “As nurses with Cabell Huntington Hospital we are working every day in this pandemic to provide the best possible health care services on behalf of the region. However, cuts in employee benefits have been damaging not only for the 1,000 nurses in the bargaining unit and our families but also for workforce retention at the hospital,” Erin Johnson concluded.

Negotiations with Cabell Huntington Hospital executives will continue this week on Monday, November 2nd. Nurses with the hospital say that staffing at the hospital must improve to protect quality care and that changes in the workplace and benefits have been driving quality nurses away from the hospital.

Nurses with Cabell Huntington Hospital have been bravely working on the frontlines of the COVID19 pandemic. In the last year, Cabell Huntington Hospital received over $70M in funding under the CARES Act. St. Mary’s Medical Center, which is a part of the Mountain Health Network, also spent over $10M to acquire the Huntington Internal Medicine Group (HIMG) in the middle of the pandemic.

“Safe staffing saves lives,” said Joyce Gibson, Secretary-Treasurer with SEIU District 1199. “These are frontline heroes who are working to provide the best care possible every day in this pandemic,” continued Gibson. “These healthcare workers deserve to have affordable health care restored and be able to provide for their families and their future. They have taken a vote to empower their bargaining committee to send a 10-day strike notice, if needed. This is a vote by the nurses to demand that hospital executives hear their voices on staffing ratios and affordable healthcare benefits,” concluded Gibson. 

SEIU District 1199 has represented workers with Cabell Huntington Hospital for over 40 years. In the largest victory since West Virginia became a “right-to-work” state, nurses at Cabell Huntington Hospital joined SEIU District 1199 in November 2019. Technical workers with Cabell Huntington Hospital joined SEIU District 1199 in February 2020.

CHH Nurse Union Strike Empowerment Vote

Cabell Huntington Hospital Nurses Holding Strike Empowerment Vote

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Nurses with Cabell Huntington Hospital are holding a strike empowerment vote and continue to call on hospital executives to negotiate in good faith.

Staff Contact: Joyce Gibson at (304) 654-0824.
For Immediate Release: Friday, October 30th.

HUNTINGTON, WEST VIRGINIA – Today, on Friday, October 30th and tomorrow on Saturday, October 31st, nurses with Cabell Huntington Hospital are holding a strike empowerment vote at the Double Tree Hotel in Huntington. Nurses with the hospital have been negotiating with hospital executives over the last nine months for a fair and equitable contract that protects quality care.

“Having a Union has allowed us to have a voice for ourselves and our patients in the area of patient care. We have over 1,000 nurses represented within our bargaining unit and nurses with Cabell Huntington Hospital are united for quality care on behalf of the communities we serve,” said Derek Bradley, a critical care nurse in the ICU unit at Cabell Huntington Hospital. 

Nurses with Cabell Huntington Hospital have been bravely working on the frontlines of the COVID19 pandemic. In the last year, Cabell Huntington Hospital received over $70M in funding under the CARES Act. St. Mary’s Medical Center, which is a part of the Mountain Health Network, also spent over $10M to acquire the Huntington Internal Medicine Group (HIMG) in the middle of this pandemic.

“Nurses with Cabell Huntington Hospital have always been heroes in our community and they continue to speak out for good jobs and quality care,” said Joyce Gibson, Secretary Treasurer with SEIU District 1199. “These nurses need increased staffing ratios to protect quality care at the hospital, especially for critical patient care units. Since Mountain Health took over, nurses have also been leaving the hospital system due extreme health care cost and concessionary changes in workplace benefits,” continued Gibson.

Nurses at the hospital have been forced to pay dramatic increases in health insurance costs. Additionally, hospital negotiators want the nurses to assume additional costs in the area of short-term disability benefits, and to reduce their sick leave benefits when they need it the most due to being quarantined for COVID19 exposure. Hospital staffing also remains a critical point of contention in negotiations.

“These nurses are taking a vote to empower their negotiating committee to authorize a 10 day strike notice, if needed. They continue to call on hospital leaders to improve staffing ratios and stop the benefit cuts that are our hurting our families,” concluded Gibson. 

SEIU District 1199 has represented workers with Cabell Huntington Hospital for over 40 years. In the largest victory since West Virginia became a “right-to-work” state, nurses at Cabell Huntington Hospital joined SEIU District 1199 in November 2019. Technical workers with Cabell Huntington Hospital joined SEIU District 1199 in February 2020.

2020 Union Scholarship Winners

Kentucky
Vernal Wiley, Highlands ARH

West Virginia
Stephanie Fiber, child of Tina Fiber, Northern Panhandle Head Start

Andrew Leist, child of Sarah Parks, Cabell Huntington Hospital
Jake Meek, child of Retha Meek, American Red Cross – Huntington
Shauntina Reed, child of Priscilla Reed, Rescare – West Virginia

Ohio
Tiera Cross, Lutheran Hospital

Andrew Curry, child of Kim Moore, Cleveland Metropolitan School District
Valerie Dranchak, child of Christa Dranchak, Greene County Public Library
Amanda Frerking, child of Mary Frerking, Stark County District Library
Christina Fulton, Zepf Center
Stephanie Furino, Cuyahoga County Public Library
Marc Judy, child of Lisa Judy, Steward – Trumbull Regional Medical Center
Ariel McLain, child of Erica McLain, Cleveland Metropolitan School District
Keith Nelson, child of Tasha Nelson, Rescue Mental Health
Tamhra Phelps, Mercy Lorain – RNs
Cara Potocki, child of Therese Potocki, Frontline Services
James Snowden, OS – Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections
Gage Thompson, child of Kristina Thompson, OS – Department of Developmental Disabilities
Rachel Witten, OS – Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections
Trisade Zimmerman, child of Dwayne Henson, OS – Ohio Veterans Home

Nursing Home staffing and PPE Shortages Continue, New Data Shows. Nursing Home Workers Express Alarm as COVID19 Cases Surge in Ohio and Nationwide

A new analysis of CMS data by AARP and the Ohio University Scripps Gerontology Center shows that many nursing home facilities lack needed PPE. Concurrently, projections and modeling data show that COVID19 transmission may dramatically increase this fall and winter. 

For Immediate Release: Monday, October 19th, 2020
Media Contact: Anthony Caldwell (330) 651-2042

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Nationwide, 84,000 residents and nursing home workers have died as COVID19 has spread across the country, data shows. Nursing home workers have acted bravely by caring for nursing home residents and continuing their work, even in difficult conditions.

In Ohio, this crisis has reached nursing home facilities across the state, with some outbreaks occurring at severe levels. “Nursing home and other workers go to work each day, where they often wear protective equipment and the pandemic is a constant concern. Nursing home workers often work long hours and earn low-wages. Nursing home staffing has always been a concern but at many facilities, staffing levels have further deteriorated. Transmission of COVID19 has been highly prevalent within nursing home facilities,” said Anthony Caldwell, Director of Public Affairs for SEIU District 1199.

New analysis of data from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services by AARP shows that 34.6% of Ohio nursing homes in the 4 week period ending on 9/20/20 had a shortage of workers. Additionally, 33.9% of nursing homes in Ohio did not have a one week supply of all critical personal protective equipment items needed during that same period.

Nursing home workers now have one of the most dangerous jobs in America, stated a recent report in the Washington Post. “These workers were not cared for before this pandemic and this is a deepening crisis. Policymakers at all levels of government, long-term care corporations, and nursing home operators, must work together to ensure access to personal protective equipment and that there is safe staffing for nursing home residents,” concluded Caldwell. 

SEIU District 1199, a healthcare and social service union, represents thousands of nursing home workers across West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio.

View the AARP COVID19 Nursing Home Dashboard.

Victory Report – Union Member at Cabell Huntington Hospital Reinstated

A member with Cabell Huntington Hospital was recently terminated after 21 years with the hospital. The member was a highly dedicated employee and believed that they had acted in good faith to help a patient amid the COVID19 pandemic. 

The member had used a phone to connect a patient with a relative via video. The staff member was asked to do this by the patient as they were unable to visit with family in person due to the pandemic. The hospital maintained that protocol had been breached. 

The member contacted their Member Resource Center and worked with Union member leaders at the hospital. While non-Union positions are “at-will,” having a collective bargaining agreement means that an employer must prove that they had “just cause” in order to issue such a termination. 

An arbitrator issued a ruling and the dismissal was overturned. The arbitrator converted the dismissal to a 60-day suspension. The member has been re-instated with full backpay outside of the short-term suspension period.  

From collective bargaining to standing with co-workers and representation, to have a Union is to have a powerful voice. Together, we are Union strong. 

National Assisted Living Week: A Message From President Becky Williams

SEIU
As you may know, this week is known as National Assisted Living Week. I want to take this chance to recognize all of you and this very important work.

Members who work at assisted living facilities help individuals maintain their dignity and independence as they age. I know that things have been particularly difficult for members this year and assisted living residents due to the COVID19 pandemic. Thank you for the work that you do each day.

Together, we will continue to speak out for safe jobs with fair wages and benefits, in addition to quality care.

In Solidarity,

Becky Williams – President
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

Standing Together for Nursing Home Safety and Unions for All

Nursing home members with SEIU District 1199 of all backgrounds have worked bravely across West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio, during the current pandemic. Members have faced hazardous conditions while providing health care services and support on behalf of long-term care residents.

Last week, a new study was released by a journal called Health Affairs about nursing homes, labor unions, and COVID19. The study found that at nursing homes where workers had a Union in New York State, COVID19 infection and fatality rates were significantly lower than at non-Union facilities. The study concluded that this is likely because “health care worker unionization may play an important role in ensuring access to appropriate PPE and implementing infection control policies that protect vulnerable nursing home residents.”

Members can contact elected officials online about the need for greater availability of personal protective equipment, the importance of a nursing home worker bill of rights, and the Heroes Act, which would guarantee hazard pay for frontline workers. Together, we will continue to speak out for priorities important to nursing home workers and for elected leaders to protect all workers.

In Solidarity, 

Becky Williams  President 
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

Nursing Home Workers Need Unions for All

2020 SEIU District 1199 Election Results

The results of the Executive Board and Officer Contested Elections, By Laws Vote, and Social Justice Steering Committee Vote, including additional vote counts are now available. If there are any questions regarding the results, reach out to Mary Jo Ivan, Election Chairperson, at 877-419-7348. 

 2020 District Officer and Executive Board Elections: Contested Elections
2020 By-Laws and Social Justice Committee Election Results

Stand With the Healthcare Heroes of Cabell Huntington Hospital

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The nurses and technical workers of Cabell Huntington Hospital are heroes who serve our community every day, providing vital health care services on behalf of working people, individuals, and families from across our region. 

These workers are currently negotiating with Cabell Huntington Hospital for a fair contract that protects health and safety through better staffing, while ensuring fair wages and benefits for themselves and their families. Below are some ways that you can support these workers in their contract campaign now: 

Write to Elected Officials. Submit a letter of support to your elected officials. Let your representatives know that you support the nurses and technical workers of Cabell Huntington Hospital as they stand together for a fair contract. Submit your name and a support letter here

Write a Letter to the Editor. Send a letter to the editor and share your support with the public. Visit this page for details on submitting a letter to the editor.

Tweet Your Support. Share your support on Twitter with messages of solidarity. 

Support Petition. Submit your name in support of Huntington’s hospital heroes. Sign the support petition here

Together, the workers of Cabell Huntington Hospital are united for good jobs and quality care.

In Solidarity, 

Joyce Gibson – Regional Director 
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

Solidarity Newsletter — September 2020

Solidarity Newsletter ● Dedicated Hospital Member Secures Severance Package. A member who had worked for fifty years at a hospital  in Northeast Ohio was not offered a severance package after his job was eliminated. The member and Union worked together and secured a severance package that included healthcare coverage, a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) of $4,800 which can be used until it is exhausted, and a payout of vacation time.

● ResCare Member in West Virginia Granted Pay After Administrative Leave. After being placed on administrative leave, a member with ResCare in West Virginia worked with the Member Resource Center to file a grievance. Through this process, the member was awarded over $1,000 in back pay.

● ResCare Member Successfully Reinstated After Wrongful Termination. A member with ResCare in Lake County, Ohio, with 30 years of service, was improperly terminated while on family medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Through the grievance process, the member worked with the Union and the termination was overturned.

● Hospital Member Receives Extra Pay After Being Denied Hours. A member who works at a hospital in Trumbull County, Ohio, was not contacted about hours that were available. This was a contract violation and the member worked with the Member Resource Center. Through the grievance process, the member was granted pay for all hours that were assigned to other staff in violation of the contract and over $350 in a payment.

● Members At a Nursing Home Speak Out for Safe Staffing. Members at a Toledo area nursing home recently held a candlelight vigil to speak out for quality care and safe staffing. Members at the facility are often mandated and the long-hours raise safety concerns. Together, members from this nursing home are continuing to speak out and stand together so that they can reach an agreement with management on mandation.

SEIU District 1199 Member Benefits
Membership with SEIU District 1199 includes membership with three member benefit programs. Those programs include Union Plus, SEIU Member Benefits, and the SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH membership card. Members and eligible family members can now take classes with Eastern Gateway Community College at no-cost online. In 2019, Union Plus announced a new program with Central State University in Dayton. If you are not a member, you can sign a membership card online. 

Member Resource Center Update
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The Member Resource Center provides assistance each day to a substantial number of members across West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky. Whether you need a copy of your contract, assistance contacting Union staff, or advice on how to file a grievance, representatives with the Member Resource Center are standing by to assist members each Monday through Friday. “Your Member Resource Center Has Your Back!”

Cabell Huntington Hospital Nurses and Technical Workers Cite Substantial Community Support As Contract Negotiations Continue

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For Immediate Release: August 30, 2020.
Press Contact: Joyce Gibson, jgibson@seiu1199.org, (877) 419-7348.

A new effort is promoting ways that the public can stand with the hospital workers at Cabell Huntington Hospital amid the COVID19 pandemic. Nearly 1,000 individuals have signed up online to say that they support the nurses and technical workers in their Union contract campaign. 

HUNTINGTON, WEST VIRGINIANurses and technical workers with Cabell Huntington Hospital say that support for a fair contract with hospital executives is growing. While the number is increasing,
nearly 1,000 people have signed their names in support of their campaign through an online petition. Additionally, new digital ads and messages from local residents continue to show support from across the region.

In addition to an online petition, residents are sending letters of support to their elected officials. Community members are also posting messages and sharing their solidarity on social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

“Local residents are reaching out to politicians at all levels of government to let their representatives know that they stand with these nurses and technical workers,” said Joyce Gibson, Regional Director with SEIU District 1199. “This contract campaign involves over 1,000 workers from all backgrounds who live and work in the community of Huntington,” continued Gibson. “These are our local heroes and they have always been here for the patients they serve. Local residents who are taking action online by posting messages of support on social media and contacting elected officials is meaningful – these workers are members of our families and they are our neighbors. Most importantly, these nurses and technical workers are working on the frontlines in this difficult time but they were also heroes long before this pandemic,” Gibson said.

Nurses and Technical workers state that they continue to call for a fair and equitable contract in addition to standing together for improvements in important areas such as staffing. “These workers appreciate the outpouring of support,” Gibson concluded. Members of the public can find ways to stand with the hospital workers at this link.

SEIU District 1199 has represented workers with Cabell Huntington Hospital for over 40 years. In the largest victory since West Virginia became a “right-to-work” state, nurses at Cabell Huntington Hospital joined SEIU District 1199 in November 2019. Technical workers with Cabell Huntington Hospital joined SEIU District 1199 in February 2020.

Register to Vote Online and Request an Absentee Ballot in West Virginia

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General Election Day this year will be on Tuesday, November 3rd. If we are really going to beat COVID19, frontline workers need a seat at the table with corporations and our government.

If you live in West Virginia, you can register to vote or make updates to your registration online. The deadline to register to vote online in West Virginia is Tuesday, October 13th. Request your ballot as soon as possible. If you want to vote by mail, fill out an absentee ballot application and then submit it to your county clerk as soon as possible.

View this list of candidates that support working people that have been endorsed by members with SEIU District 1199. Together, we will turn our energy and hope into votes.

In Solidarity, 

Anthony Caldwell – Director of Public Affairs 
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

Tell Congress: Protect All Workers

 Essential Workers Prayers

 

Election Update – Register to Vote Online and Request an Absentee Ballot in Kentucky

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General Election Day this year will be on Tuesday, November 3rd. If we are really going to beat COVID19, frontline workers need a seat at the table with corporations and our government.

If you live in Kentucky, you can register to vote or make updates to your registration online. The deadline to register to vote online in Kentucky is Monday, October 5th at 4PM. Request your ballot as soon as possible. If you want to vote by mail, you can fill out an absentee ballot application online.

View this list of candidates that support working people that have been endorsed by members with SEIU District 1199. Together, we will turn our energy and hope into votes.

In Solidarity, 

Anthony Caldwell – Director of Public Affairs 
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

Tell Congress: Protect All Workers

The U.S. House passed the Heroes Act on May 15th but inaction from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and U.S. Senate republican leaders has left working families of all backgrounds in limbo. At the end of July, full pandemic unemployment assistance expired. Frontline workers are still without hazard pay, no matter what the conditions. Not only that, our public services are at-risk and losing funding.

Write to Congress today about this issue at this link. Union members are standing together to call on politicians and corporations to protect all workers.

In Solidarity,

Becky Williams – President 
SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH

 

New Data Shows Many Nursing Homes Have Less Than a Week’s Supply of Personal Protective Equipment as the COVID19 Long-Term Care Crisis Continues

New CMS data shows the potential for further PPE shortages and the ongoing crisis within long-term care facilities in West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, and across the United States. Union workers and nursing home advocates share their concerns as the COVID19 pandemic continues.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, August 11th, 2020
Contact: Anthony Caldwell at (877) 419-7348

COLUMBUS, OHIO – New data from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services highlights shortages in personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies held by nursing homes across Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky. The newly released data, which has been reviewed by the American Health Care Association, shows that many nursing home facilities do not have a one-week supply of essential personal protective equipment items, such as N95 masks, surgical masks, and gowns.

“It’s important that nursing home workers have access to personal protective equipment so that they can protect themselves and the residents at the facilities where they work. If nursing home workers contract COVID19 due to shortages or improper PPE, that can put many nursing home workers and residents at-risk and potentially cause further outbreaks,” said Anthony Caldwell, Director of Public Affairs with SEIU District 1199.

As detailed by the American Health Care Association, the CMS data, which was released on July 30th shows the following:

• In Ohio, 15% of nursing homes do not have a one-week supply of N95 masks, 6% of nursing homes do not have a one-week supply of surgical masks, and 9% of nursing homes do not have a one-week supply of gowns.
• In West Virginia, 34% of nursing homes do not have a one-week supply of N95 masks, 32% of nursing homes do not have a one-week supply of surgical masks, and 33% of nursing homes do not have a one-week supply of gowns.
• In Kentucky, 10% of nursing homes do not have a one-week supply of N95 masks, 13% do not have a one-week supply of surgical masks, and 10% do not have a one-week supply of gowns.

In June 2020, a survey by SEIU International, which included members of SEIU District 1199 in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio, showed that over 76% of nursing home workers nationwide believe that not enough is being done to ensure access to personal protective equipment. Furthermore, two health care experts recently concluded in the Washington Post on July 28th that nursing home workers now have the most dangerous job in America due to the COVID19 pandemic.

“Nursing home workers put in long hours for low-wages,” said Sheila Hunter, a nursing home worker and member of SEIU District 1199 in Cleveland. “Without the proper protective equipment, nursing home workers aren’t able to protect themselves or the residents that they care for,” Sheila Hunter concluded.

“Even with the proper PPE, health care workers are still at high-risk,” continued Caldwell. “It is possible that the pandemic could worsen and it is certain to continue this fall and winter. Nursing home workers are calling on actors from all levels of government, nursing home operators, and private industry, to work together to ensure that these vital supplies are available,” Caldwell concluded.