Striking Chicago-area nursing home workers reached a tentative agreement with their employer, Infinity Healthcare Management, Friday after a 12-day strike.
Nearly 700 caregivers walked off the job at 11 locations owned by Infinity Healthcare Management on Nov. 23, saying that their base wages were below that of other nursing homes in the Chicago area.
SEIU Healthcare Illinois previously said the company discontinued pandemic pay - higher wages for essential workers during the coronavirus pandemic - at the end of July, despite receiving $12.7 million in funding from the federal CARES Act.
The new tentative agreement, according to SEIU, calls for a two-and-a-half year contract which includes:
- Significant wage increases
- Pandemic pay will increase from $2 to $2.50 an hour and is now secured for all workers who work in areas that either have verified cases of COVID-19 or areas with residents under observation for COVID for as long as COVID-19 is present in a facility
- Workers will gain an additional five days of COVID-19-related sick time
- Workers also won significant PPE guarantees and protections
The union states the agreement will raise standards for Certified Nursing Assistant pay, which in turn will help improve staffing levels and the level of resident care.