CHICAGO – After 12 days, nearly 700 Chicago area nursing home workers are headed back to work.
The Infinity workers went on strike nearly two weeks ago after being without a contract since June. Infinity owns 11 long-term care facilities in Chicago and surrounding suburbs.
Workers said chronic short staffing and lack of PPE were among their many concerns.
During a virtual press conference Friday night, SEIU Local 73 announced the workers came to a tentative agreement to return back to work.
According to Greg Kelley of SEIU, striking workers won the following at the bargaining table.
- All workers will immediately receive significant wage increases — a minimum of $1 an hour, with an average increase of over $2 an hour. Workers will receive additional wage increases in years 2 and 3 of the contract.
- Pandemic pay will increase from $2 to $2.50 an hour and is now secured for all workers who work in areas that either have verified cases of COVID-19 or areas with residents under observation for COVID for as long as COVID-19 is present in a facility.
- Workers will gain an additional five days of COVID-19-related sick time.
- Workers won PPE guarantees and protections.
“I’ve been at Lakeview Nursing and Rehab for 15 years even though I could easily earn a lot more at another facility,” said CNA Rosalind Reggans. “I’ve stayed because I love my residents, but I don’t love working short staffed and worrying about whether my residents are getting all the care they deserve. With this new contract, we won’t have people leaving for other facilities because they can’t afford to work here—and that means higher quality care for my residents.”
Additionally, the tentative agreement will raise standards for Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) pay across all 11 Infinity Healthcare facilities.