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WA Nursing Home Workers Demand Raises Promised by Legislature

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Thursday, June 9, 2022   

Nursing home workers at a Washington state facility are calling on their employer to raise their wages with money set aside in the Legislature's budget for the purpose.

Members of Service Employees International Union Local 775 held an informational picket Wednesday at the Arcadia Medical Resort of Talbot in Renton. The union said the facility is not using $48 million from lawmakers this year aimed at raising pay at nursing homes.

Linda Long, a nursing assistant at the facility and a member of the union, spoke from the rally about working through the pandemic.

"So many of our people have left the industry and went to different occupations because why work if you can't get paid?" Long stressed. "You're risking your life and they're not compensating it."

The informational picket drew a crowd of workers, as well as Rep. Mia Gregerson, D-SeaTac. Negotiations between workers and Arcadia Medical Resort of Talbot are ongoing. The facility did not return a request for comment before deadline.

Long noted the nursing home often is understaffed and people are overworked, which does a disservice to the residents who live there.

"A lot of people live here and they need to know it's not their only, last step in their life," Long asserted. "They need to be able to know that they can enjoy any time they have left."

The union criticized the facility's $18 per hour proposal, saying it is below a livable wage in King County, where the cost of living is high.

Disclosure: SEIU 775 contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Health Issues, and Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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