Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

Nursing Homes Approve Accord

Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

Nursing Homes Approve Accord

Article excerpt

Negotiators for Beverly Enterprises, the Nation's largest nursing home chain, and three locals of the Service Employees International Union signed 3-year collective bargaining agreements covering 1,500 workers at 18 nursing homes in Pennsylvania. The union hoped to use the settlements, which provide wage and health care benefit increases and funding for potential pension plans, as a pattern for contracts that cover an additional 3,500 nursing home employees in Pennsylvania. The major sticking point in negotiations involved the union's proposal to establish a pension plan.

The contracts called for wage increases ranging from between 21 percent and 41 percent over the term of the agreement, with larger increases going to employees of four recently organized nursing homes. The average hourly rate for employees at previously organized homes ranged between $6.50 and $7.50.

Although the unions were unable to negotiate a defined benefit pension plan, the company agreed to begin contributing 5 cents per hour for each employee in the second year of the contract and 10 cents per hour in the third year, while the company conducts a pension plan feasibility study. The funds initially would be put in a savings plan, bank account, or other mutually acceptable investment until the company completes its review of the pension proposal. …

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