NJ Nursing Home Workers Protest for Family Benefits, Pay Increase
Saul Gruber, Esq.
Recently, nursing home caregivers protested for family health benefits and pay increase outside Alaris Health in Union City, NJ, a chain that recently was found liable for negligence and punitive damages for the death of a resident in the amount of 13.2 Million dollars.
Approximately 30 caregivers and union organizers picketed from 2:30 to 4:00 pm.
Workers of Alaris Health expressed frustration with the new administration, from poor working conditions to inadequate support. They cited lack of necessary supplies, such as oxygen and water cups for residents, and a struggle to survive for themselves. Certified nursing assistants make $11.75 an hour, which makes health insurance is difficult to afford. Caregivers are seeking an 3% increase in salary over the next five years (0.6% each year). Certified nursing assistants are demanding a greater increase.
Protesters expressed concern and discontent that the administration was not working with their union to establish new contracts. The attorney for Alaris contends that a negotiation of wages and benefits between the company and the union is happening, but declined to say if a wage increase was being negotiated. He called the protest ‘premature’.