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ESCANABA — When it comes to assisted living facilities, we want the best for our family members. But what about the best for those who take care of our family members?
Approximately 35 certified nursing assistants (CNAs) began their fight to unionize in 2017, so they could have a voice in the decisions that affect their residents and their jobs.
They were followed by 25 support staff members, including dietary, laundry and housekeeping workers, who also voted to join the United Steelworkers (USW) that fall.
The picketing line consisted of community members, members of the Michigan nursing union, steel, iron, and carpenters union standing with the Noe Home workers.
Chris Haddock, Staff Representative of the United Steelworkers International Union: “We’re looking to create a good work environment. The workers and the union is concerned about the recent turnovers. We want to be sure that the residents here at Bishop Noe Homes have good quality care and if we are having turnover because of poor benefits and some of the proposals on the table were concerned about that.“
Bishop Noa Home Administrator Jamie LaFave issued a written statement to the Radio Results Network after the picket:
”While we are disappointed the Union chose to take this course of action, we do not believe it is something a majority of our employees supported and does not change our bargaining position. In that regard, we have always sought a contract that provides our employees with a highly competitive wage and benefit package while ensuring the highest standards of patient care. Thus, while we prefer not to negotiate through the media, I can assure you that we were already working very hard to reach a fair agreement with the Steelworker’s Union and will continue to do so.”
Negotiations have been on going for more than a year, during which time the administration put forward proposals to cut benefits.