Understaffed, underpaid and unsafe: Nursing home strike in Pennsylvania
David Grabowski, Professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School, and Nexus Insights Fellow, was recently interviewed by The Times in a story about 12 nursing homes in Pennsylvania that have voted to authorize strikes.
Nurses, nurse aides and other caregivers have authorized issuing a 10-day strike notice at 12 nursing homes. Issues include “a growing crisis involving the COVID-19 pandemic, chronic understaffing and low pay, and industry regulations in desperate need of reform,” according to the workers’ union, SEIU Healthcare PA.
Zach Shamberg, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association, cites two major issues affecting the industry, a shortage of workers and declining Medicaid reimbursements.
A statement from the union states that the workforce has been, “Stretched to the breaking point after decades of understaffing, lack of investment in a workforce that makes poverty wages, and a pandemic that took an unimaginable physical, mental, emotional and financial toll on caregivers who have dedicated their lives to our most vulnerable.” There were more than 13,000 COVID-19 nursing home deaths in the state.
Owners and workers both express a concern for the health and safety of residents.
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