Consumer Watchdog recently warned that the move by SEIU International to take over nursing home worker unions in California will lead to degradation of the quality of patient care, as the agreements negotiated by SEIU tend to put the interest of nursing home owners over patients. According to Consumer Watchdog, the current agreements in nursing homes run by the United Health Care Workers protect the right of caregivers to blow the whistle on quality of care problems and create quality of care committees to give workers a voice in how nursing home residents are treated. Agreements cut by SEIU International’s loyal unions have prevented caregivers from speaking out about quality of care problems, and in many cases even striking. One agreement, pledged the workers, would lobby with nursing home owners to restrict the legal rights of injured patients.
“The quality of care in California nursing homes with suffer significantly if workers who are empowered to speak out about unacceptable conditions are suddenly represented by a union which is notorious for cutting sweet heart deals with nursing home owners that gag caregivers,” said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog. “This power grab over a democratically elected union will mean our grandparents will be less safe in California nursing homes because the owners will have taken over an independent voice for patients.”