Detroit Nursing Home Workers, Unions ‘Blow The Whistle’ and Demand Investigation of Nursing Home Industry Care Standards

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and other elected officials joined nursing home workers from across Detroit at SEIU Healthcare Michigan’s Speak Out calling on elected officials to investigate the ongoing care crisis and enforce existing staffing regulations. 

Detroit – On Tuesday, July 30, over 100 Detroit nursing home workers, alongside elected officials, held a Speak Out event to expose the often inadequate and sometimes dangerous conditions facing nursing home residents and the people who care for them. They pledged to hold the industry accountable for raising the standard of care for residents and workers at skilled nursing facilities across the state.

SEIU Healthcare Michigan, the largest union of nursing home professionals in Michigan, was joined by Nessel, members of the Michigan Legislature and other labor unions to demand accountability and push for policies to address fair wages and safe staffing ensured to provide higher levels of care for nursing home residents.

“We’re here to shine a light on many of the issues workers and residents in Michigan Nursing Homes face, which includes poverty wages, dangerously short staffing, and an overall lack of respect for the important work we do to care for our seniors,” said Andrea Acevedo, President of SEIU Healthcare Michigan.

Unions and community organizers are using the spotlight of the Democratic Presidential Debate held in Detroit this week to garner national attention of the current care crisis witnessed by both residents and healthcare professionals in nursing homes. SEIU Healthcare Michigan was also joined by other SEIU locals and the Fight for 15, who collectively organized over 600 workers to be present in Detroit this week.

“We want our presence to be felt and also encourage our elected officials to take action in holding the nursing home industry accountable for putting their profits over the best interests of their workforce and the residents who receive vital care in nursing homes across the state,” said Acevedo. “This is why our union applauds Attorney General Dana Nessel for her investigative work through the elder abuse task force initiated earlier this year. We hope she expands it to cover the conditions in nursing homes.”

Among demands from union members and elected officials who attend the speak out, is to address Michigan’s dangerously low staffing ratio of just over 2 hours of direct care per day. Data shows at least 4.1 hours of care per day per resident is a basic minimum for the level of care nursing home residents deserve. Michigan’s current staffing ratio is among the lowest in the country.

“We need to do right by our most vulnerable residents and the professionals who care for them by raising staffing standards and wages across the board in the industry,” said SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry. “We’re here today to ensure the next President of the United States follows the blueprint of the movement we’re building here today.”

For more information, please contact: Adam Bingman, (313) 706-7278.

 

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