The labor union 11199SEIU on Tuesday evening reached an agreement with the Greater New York Health Care Facilities Association that will stave off a strike at nursing homes in New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul's office announced.
The agreement will run for three years, but specifics of the deal for the union were not immediately made available.
But it was also reached amid another round of uncertainty for health care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nursing homes have been especially vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19, and over the weekend the Hochul administration moved to provide booster shots to residents over concerns stemming from the omicron variant.
"After days of intense discussion and collaboration, I am proud to have facilitated a fair agreement with 1199SEIU and the Greater New York Health Care Facilities Association that protects working people and nursing home residents," Hochul said. "In the midst of a deadly public health crisis, it's imperative that New Yorkers living in long-term care facilities receive the care they deserve. At the same time, we need to ensure the hard-working women and men who work in these facilities are treated with dignity and respect. This agreement is a major step forward."
Hochul's office helped broker the agreement, reached with a prominent and politically active union that represents 450,000 health care workers. Both sides in the negotiations credited Hochul will helping to avert the strike.
"Our nursing home heroes took a stand for the contract they deserve after having spent nearly two years caring for residents in the face of the worst pandemic any of us have ever seen," said George Gresham, the union's president. "We appreciate Governor Hochul for standing with us to ensure that New York's for-profit nursing homes step up to do the right thing by guaranteeing healthcare for the heroes who continue to provide exceptional care for our loved ones."