Employees of Armstrong County nursing home unanimously vote to authorize strike

KITTANNING, Pa. — Employees of an Armstrong County nursing home have authorized a strike.

SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania says employees at Armstrong Rehab and Nursing Center unanimously voted to send an Unfair Labor Practice strike notice to the facility’s owner, Elie Pollak. They allege he’s bargained in bad faith and failed to provide bargaining information about wages, staffing and agency costs — which reportedly have stalled negotiations to improve wages and health insurance.

“This is the absolute last resort. We need a contract that puts the care and safety of our residents first, but the company has not been bargaining in good faith,” said Amber Graham, a certified nursing assistant at Armstrong Rehab and Nursing Center for over a year. “The staffing situation is desperate. We need to know how much they spend on staffing to know what should be invested in full-time caregivers, supplies, equipment that works, and good care. But Pollak failed to provide this bargaining information.”

SEIU says workers want Pollak to invest the over $2.1 million he receives in annual state funding to retain and recruit caregivers.

The workers are also reportedly concerned about citations and fines the nursing home has received since it was purchased by Pollak four years ago for violations such as unsafe staffing, accident hazards and lack of supervision.

The three-day strike is set to start on July 19.

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