SEIU Healthcare workers from three St. Louis nursing homes reach agreement with Luxor Healthcare LLC, narrowly avoiding strike


SEIU HEALTHCARE workers at Hillside Manor Healthcare and Rehab Center staged a one-day strike on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Jan. 16, to draw attention to the union-busting and deteriorating conditions at the Baden neighborhood nursing home owned by Luxor Healthcare LLC. – Labor Tribune photo

After a nearly two-year fight, frontline healthcare workers at Beauvais Manor, Hillside Manor, and Rancho Manor, represented by SEIU Healthcare Missouri, voted to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement, narrowly avoiding a strike.

The agreement between SEIU Healthcare Missouri and Luxor Healthcare LLC out of New Jersey was reached after workers filed a 10-day strike notice with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) late last month, prompting Luxor to negotiate.

The agreement covers about 270 workers at Hillside Manor Healthcare in St. Louis’ Baden neighborhood; Beauvais Rehab and Healthcare Center in the Shaw neighborhood; and Rancho Rehab and Healthcare Center in Florissant.

SEIU Healthcare had a contract in place with the previous owners, but after Luxor took ownership in late 2021, had not been able to reach a new agreement.

In the months that followed, workers held protests over working conditions and union busting tactics by Luxor.

“I am proud of my coworkers for coming together and demanding the respect, protection, and pay we all deserve,” said Gabby Love, a certified medication technician (CMT), who has worked at Hillside Manor Healthcare and Rehab Center for five years. “Every demand we made and piece of the contract we negotiated, we did as one union with one voice. We are on the frontlines every day, and we deserve to be paid what we are worth and treated with the same dignity and respect we show our residents.”

In 2021, multiple longtime employees were fired at Hillside Manor.

In January of this year, they went on a one-day strike over issues of unequal pay, bedbugs and alleged union-busting. The union has filed multiple unfair labor practice charges against the owners.

Over the past two years, the local office of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found merit to allegations that Luxor and its operating entities have committed multiple unfair labor practices (ULP), including the termination of union stewards and union-represented employees, changes to holiday pay policies, retaliating against an employee for participating in a union rally, decreasing wage rates, and refusing to provide information relevant for collective bargaining.

When workers recently filed a 10-day strike notice with the NLRB, that action prompted the owners to negotiate.

Lenny Jones, state director for SEIU Healthcare Missouri, said the agreement requires a Labor/management meeting within the first 30 days between workers and administrators to discuss ways to improve conditions and working relationships. The contract further:

  • Locks in pay increases that had been paid to certain employees as discretionary bonuses.
  • Raises pay for certified nursing assistants to $17 an hour, from $14 and for certified medication technicians to $18, from $15, with additional increases for years of service.
  • Locks in full union security and arbitration.
  • Requires mandatory paid-time union orientation for all employees.

Jones said the union insisted on a one-year, rather than the standard three-year contract to ensure Luxor is abiding by the terms of the agreement.

“We insisted on a one-year agreement because we just have to make sure they’re going to abide by the current agreement,” Jones said. If they continue to be bad faith employers then workers would be ready to take action a year from now.”

“Workers at the three nursing homes saw a victory, but this fight doesn’t end here,” Jones said. “We will be watching management to ensure the legally-binding collective bargaining agreement is respected, and that all workers are allowed to continue providing quality care without retribution.

“Unfortunately, there is a trend we are seeing across St. Louis of out-of-state corporations buying nursing homes and driving working and living conditions down,” Jones said. “SEIU Healthcare Missouri will continue to work with the City’s Special Investigative Committee to ensure these, and all nursing homes in St. Louis, are operating properly, providing quality care to residents, and treating workers with dignity and respect.”

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