By Jim Nelson | October 19, 2023
AMITYVILLE, NY — Massapequa Center Rehabilitation & Nursing, represented by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, have picketed in this village on the south shore of Long Island, about 90 minutes east of New York City.
What is being called “informational picketing” reportedly went very well. It lasted a couple of hours and all the picketers did so before or after their shifts, or on their breaks, and patient care continued uninterrupted.
According to the union and Massapequa Center employees, management has refused to address concerns over two areas: 1) medical equipment, and 2) the use of temporary agency staffers. Massapequa Center Rehabilitation & Nursing claims in the first sentence on its website’s homepage that it is “the premier facility on Long Island,” but in-house staff members say the center is falling short of that claim. While it was not immediately clear what the specific issue is regarding the medical equipment, the picketing is intended to draw attention to the use of too many temporary agency staffers at the 320-bed nursing home; the union and picketers maintain that this compromises continuity of care and resident/caregiver relationships, which are paramount to quality care at skilled-nursing facilities.
“I love my work caring for the residents and would much rather be providing direct care than standing outside picketing,” said union member, licensed practical nurse, and 32-year-veteran of the center Carolyn Pickett in a press release. “But we have been trying to get management to address these issues for over six months. It is time for Massapequa Center Rehabilitation and Nursing to do the right thing for our residents.”
A call for comment to Massapequa Center Rehabilitation & Nursing’s corporate office at The Pavilion at Queens for Rehabilitation & Nursing was not immediately returned.
Massapequa Center Rehabilitation & Nursing is part of Kennedy Healthcare, which operates three nursing homes in New York state.
1199SEIU represents more than 400,000 registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants, housekeeping, dietary staff, laundry aides and maintenance employees throughout Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Florida.