(NORWICH, NEW YORK) – Today, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), announced that the workers at Valley View Manor Nursing Home (VVM) in Norwich, New York, voted unanimously to approve their first union contract. The negotiations committee worked tirelessly to secure a strong contract that ensures workers’ concerns will be heard. In order for workers to provide the best care for their patients they need to have fair scheduling, safe staffing levels and to be heard by management when they raise concerns about patient care. This first contract does that and so much more.
“Workers at Valley View Manor showed that the best way for working people to protect themselves and their families is to join together in a union,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). “It is clear that nursing home workers want change not just for themselves, but for their patients. The contract stipulations that workers at VVM secured helps accomplish both goals. It will make the nursing home not only a better place to work, but a better place to live.”
“Our first RWDSU contract will greatly improve scheduling practices, which will help patients receive the care they deserve. I’m proud to have been a part of both our organizing campaign, and our fight for a strong first contract. I know everyone who works alongside me knows that representation from the union has changed our jobs and our lives for the better,” said Christine Taranto, Valley View Manor LPN and Chief Steward.
“It's inspiring to see workers from within my community standing up in their workplace for what they believe in. It took great strength and courage, and Valley View workers’ efforts have resulted in a strong first contract,” said Jason Chesebro, RWDSU organizer and local resident.
The unanimous vote to ratify the new contract was held on September 20, 2019. The RWDSU represents approximately 60 workers at the nursing home facility. The workers in the bargaining unit handle all operations at the facility and include LPNS, CNAs, laundry, maintenance as well as the dietary and activity programming of patients.
The contract will be in effect for three years and includes critical provisions such as:
- Annual wage increases each year of the contract.
- Increased holidays, vacation time, and paid time off for employees.
- Guaranteed scheduling protections, which will bring stability to both workers and patients’ lives.