March 2, 2024

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Union says company shuttering Hampden County nursing homes is ghosting employees

Union says company shuttering Hampden County nursing homes is ghosting employees

SPRINGFIELD – The union symbolizing a shrinking variety of workers at four nursing homes poised for shutdown claims Northeast Health and fitness Group Inc. is not sharing information and facts and isn’t negotiating severance.

“The company has been really silent with us, very silent with the condition,” claimed Crystal Bouchie, company consultant for United Food and Industrial Personnel Union Neighborhood 1459 in Springfield. “They will not allow us do our positions.”

A agent of Northeast Wellness Group did not return a get in touch with for comment Friday afternoon.

Northeast Well being Team declared final thirty day period it will shut Chapin Center in Springfield Governor’s Centre in Westfield and Willimansett Center East and West in Chicopee by June 6. New condition polices, implemented as a response to COVID-19, no more time allow for the services to home far more than two individuals in just one bedroom.

By eliminating 3- and 4-individual rooms, the organization will get rid of an believed $2.5 million a calendar year and is no longer monetarily viable, officers have mentioned.

The move will displace about 300 elderly, susceptible citizens and price about 360 careers, which includes qualified nursing assistants and nutritional and housekeeping staff members.

The UFCW’s Bouchie stated in advance of the closing announcement, the union represented about 180 of those 360 employees. But the range has been shrinking.

“Mainly amenities have been moving people out,” she reported. “So there are much less several hours and fewer do the job offered. Our people today are taking other jobs.”

THE UFCW needs to negotiate severance, at minimum a week’s shell out for every 12 months of service for workers who earn from minimum amount wage of $15 an hour up to $25 an hour. Also, Bouchie explained she needs to continue on workers’ health and fitness insurance policies.

“They require to have wellness treatment protection as they changeover to other work,” she reported. “Gaps can suggest they are paying out for these fees out-of-pocket.”

Also this week, Dignity Alliance Massachusetts, which advocates for nursing dwelling residents, requested the condition Lawyer Normal and point out Department of General public Health to put at least two of the households in receivership.

Then the condition would appoint people today to run the properties and conduct an orderly wind-down.

Echoing considerations introduced up at public hearings, Dignity Alliance reported residents are getting compelled into placements as much absent as Pittsfield and Natick. They are also currently being pressured to make decisions inside 24 several hours, wrote Paul Lanzikos, co-founder of Dignity Alliance.

Lanzikos reported far more than 5 people are reportedly remaining transferred in a day, which if so would be a violation of state rules. And Spanish-speaking residents are getting transferred to services devoid of Spanish-speaking personnel.

Point out Sen. John C. Velis, D-Westfield, fulfilled Friday with the state’s new health and human services secretary, Kate Walsh, next Gov. Maura T. Healey’s physical appearance at a Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce function. Velis’ district incorporates Westfield and parts of Chicopee.

Velis voiced fears about how and where by residents are currently being positioned in new housing and how personnel are remaining dealt with. The Health and Human Solutions office proceeds to evaluate closing plans. Velis promised more updates.

Sen. John C. Velis

Condition Sen. John C. Velis fulfilled Friday with Gov. Maura T. Healey’s cupboard to discuss space nursing property closures . (Hoang ‘Leon’ Nguyen / The Republican)