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Nursing home workers win better salaries and benefits


NUHW members at San Rafael Healthcare and Wellness Center have ratified a contract that guarantees them raises of up to 8 percent over two years. 

The agreement that covers nearly 40 janitors, cooks, laundry aides, certified nursing assistants, licensed vocational nurses and other workers, also provides increased bereavement leave and bridge toll reimbursements.

“We didn’t win everything we wanted, but we made some important progress,” said Herbert Maldonado, a janitor who has worked at the facility for 36 years.

Raises will be based on years of service. Workers with at least 10 years at the facility will receive 4 percent raises each year, while workers with at least 6 years will get 3.5 percent per year and workers with less than six years will get 3 percent raises each year.

Workers also got bridge toll reimbursements written into the contract, to safeguard the benefit against any potential takeaways. Under the agreement, NUHW members must work all their scheduled shifts in a month to qualify for the reimbursement.

“They wanted to take it away, but now it’s in the contract,” said Maldonado, who travels across a toll bridge to work at the facility. 

The contract also expands bereavement leave from three to five days for full-time employees (three paid and two unpaid days), and up to five unpaid days for non full-time employees.

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