Rosa Lozada’s mother Edelmira Colón has lived in Newington Health Care Center for 25 months. She complained Tuesday morning that her 78-year-old mother had not been washed or changed out of her nightgown by 10 a.m., as she usually would be. Her mother is completely paralyzed, and Lozada said she’s also worried the new workers won’t operate the lift properly to get her out of bed. […]
Nita Desai began working at Newington in 1989, a year after she immigrated from India, speaking no English. She started as a CNA, and studied nursing online. She became an LPN, continued to go to school and became an R.N., and is still in school, working on a master’s. […] The union secures good benefits for the workers, which means there’s low turnover, Desai said. That’s good for residents, too, she said. […]
“I love the people I work with,” she said, and those she calls “my residents.” She said at times a patient will tell her: “‘Oh, you are my angel.’ And that makes my day.”
The Stamford Advocate reported similar sentiments from Stamford the same day:
State Rep. Patricia Billie Miller, D-Stamford, walked the picket line…and said she was taking part in hopes of prompting the home’s operator and the workers to resume negotiations. […] Miller, whose 83-year-old father is being treated at the home, said that she was concerned about the impact the absence of the long-term workers would have on patient treatment.
“I know that these workers care about the patients and I’ve witnessed that firsthand,” Miller said. “I don’t know if the workers who are brought in will have the same relationship.”
Sonia Carlson, 41, a registered nurse who has worked at the home since 1994 said the contract concessions requested by HealthBridge will make it difficult for her family to cover the basic needs of her family. […] “This is not good for families at all,” Carlson said. “They are…basically asking me to start at zero after 18 years.”
Support from family members of HealthBridge residents has been pouring in since the strike began, including this letter to the editor calling on HealthBridge management to negotiate fairly with its employees.
And here are links to other coverage from the initial days of the strike:
- Fox CT News, “HealthBridge Nursing Home Workers Go On Strike” (7/3, video)
- New Haven Register, “Workers Strike at 5 Connecticut Nursing Homes” (7/3)
- Milford Mirror, “Health Center Workers on Strike” (7/3)
- Connecticut Post, “Strikers at West River Upbeat, Determined” (7/3)
- Boston Globe/AP, “Conn. Nursing Home Workers Begin Strike at 5 Homes” (7/3)
- CBS Connecticut/AP, “Staff Members Walk Out at 5 Nursing Homes” (7/3)
- NBC Connecticut, “Hundreds of Nursing Home Workers on Strike” (7/3)
- Connecticut Post, “HealthBridge Workers Set to Strike Tuesday” (7/3, slide show)
- Danbury News-Times, “Danbury Nursing Home Workers Strike” (7/3)
- New Britain Herald, “Health Center Workers Begin Strike” (7/3)
- Stamford Patch, “Long Ridge of Stamford Workers to Strike Tuesday” (7/3)
- Westport Now, “Caregivers Strike at Westport Nursing Home” (7/3)
- The Hour, “Local 1199 Strike at HealthBridge” (7/3, video)
- Westfair Online, “HealthBridge Workers Strike” (7/3)
- Republican-American/AP, “Workers Strike 5 Nursing Homes in Connecticut” (7/3)
- Connecticut Post, “HealthBridge Workers Walking the Picket Line” (7/4, slide show & video)
- Danbury Patch, “Nursing Home Workers Strike in Danbury” (7/4)
- The Day, “Health Care Strike” (7/4)
- Milford Patch, “Workers Walk Off Job at 5 Nursing Homes in Connecticut” (7/4)
- The Hour, “Westport Health Care Center Employees On Strike to Protest Unfair Labor Practices” (7/4)
- Westport News, “Still Walking the Line: Workers Continue Strike at Westport Nursing Home” (7/5)
- Daily Kos, “Locked Out at Christmas, on Strike on Independence Day” (7/5)
- Stamford – It’s Relevant, “Long Ridge Workers on Strike” (7/6, video)
And recent news that the NLRB had issued a 5th federal complaint against HealthBridge for its illegal actions that led to the strike has led to even more coverage:
- Hartford Courant, “Federal Agency Alleges HealthBridge’s Changes to Benefits Were Illegal” (7/6)
- San Francisco Chronicle/AP, “Complaint Against Nursing Home Company in Conn.” (7/6)
- New Haven Register, “National Labor Board Files Complaint Against HealthBridge/CareOne for Changing Contracts” (7/6)
- Oregon Live/AP, “Complaint Against Nursing Home Company in Conn.” (7/6)
Now the Connecticut Govenor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General are standing with us:
- CT Mirror, “Malloy Pickets with Striking Nursing Home Workers” (7/11)
- CBS-MoneyWatch/AP, “Malloy Backs Striking Conn. Nursing Home Workers” (7/11)
- Hartford Courant, “Malloy to HealthBridge: ‘Tactics are Unacceptable'” (7/11)
- CT Post, “Malloy Supports Workers Striking Against HealthBridge” (7/11, slide show)
- CT News Junkie, “Malloy Inserts Himself Into Labor Dispute” (7/12)
- Newsday/AP, “Malloy Backs Striking Conn. Nursing Home Workers” (7/11)
- Labor Notes, “SEIU 1199 Nursing Home Workers Strike Against Givebacks” (7/16)
- New Haven Register, “Attorney General George Jepsen Tours HealthBridge Nursing Homes, Including One in Milford” (7/18, video)
HealthBridge’s recent allegations of workplace sabotage have met with an outcry from the striking caregivers, who believe that such actions contravene everything we believe in and are fighting for, and that anyone found to be responsible should be held accountable. The Hartford Courant reported:
On Wednesday, health care workers walking the picket line outside the Newington nursing home – one of five in Connecticut targeted by the 700 strikers – learned of the allegations. They were so indignant that they talked over each other, as rain clouds burst and small hail pelted them.
“That’s ridiculous!” said Yolanda Amos, a nursing aide.
“We would never sabotage our residents,” said Elaine Ewart.
“They’re our family,” Amos agreed.[…]
Several union members in Newington were so disbelieving of the accusations that they speculated that the managers staged the sabotage to make the union look bad.
More recently, a Judge has found that HealthBridge violated federal law in the first of a series of expected decisions on the Unfair Labor Practice Complaints issued by the NLRB against the company:
- Stamford Advocate, “[NLRB] Finds HealthBridge Violated Laws” (7/25)
- New Britain Herald, “Judge Rules HealthBridge Violated Federal Law” (7/26)
And we’ll continue posting more links to relevant articles, videos, and more as they come in.