BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the union that represents nurses and caregivers throughout New York, announced it has filed five unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board against the McGuire Group.
According to the union, over the last several months the McGuire Group has allegedly "deliberately engaged in tactics of intimidation against union members planning to participate in one-day strikes."
The five charges were filed against:
- Autumn View Health Care Facility in Hamburg
- Garden Gate Health Care Facility in Cheektowaga
- North Gate Health Care Facility in North Tonawanda
- Seneca Health Care Facility in West Seneca
The allegations, according to the union, include:
- Engaging in direct dealing with employees and attempting to undermine bargaining unit member’s ability to strike by offering non-union positions to bargaining unit workers
- Engaging in direct dealing with employees over contract bargaining proposals outside of bargaining sessions
- Threatening to terminate employees for engaging in protected union activity
- Refusing to hire job applicants into bargaining-unit positions in an attempt to bust the union
Last week the union announced that one-day strikes are set to take place at 12 long-term care facilities in Western New York, including the four listed above, in demand for fair wages.
The union said it will return to the bargaining table with management Wednesday in an effort to reach a fair contract.
7 News reached out to the McGuire Group for a response to the allegations and a spokesperson provided the following statement:
The McGuire Group facilities continue to bargain in good-faith with the representatives from 1199SEIU. The McGuire Group is well aware of our rights and obligations under the NLRA. At no time have our employees ever been coerced or intimidated in any way. Throughout the process, we have used legal means to communicate with them because they have a right to full transparency. This includes the fact that in December of 2021 we invited the union representatives to open the contract for increased wage discussion and they turned it down. In April of this year, we entered into contract negotiations and are currently offering:
- An almost 25% increase in starting wages for LPNs
- A 14.9% increase in starting wages for CNAs
- A 5.8% increase in starting wages for Service Workers (Dietary, Housekeeping, Laundry)
- The development of a Universal Service Worker position which would allow Service Workers the option to receive paid CNA training and pick up shifts as a CNA making the CNA wage rate. This opportunity would not only enhance their skill set, but would also provide options for increased hours and pay
- Increased PTO (Paid Time Off) based on years of service
- The addition of a Juneteenth holiday
We’ve also proposed INCREASED RATES for:
- Employee Mentors
- Weekend shift differentials
- No-frills benefit options
We continue to respect our employees and expect to agree to a fair and acceptable contact as soon as possible.