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Deal reached with strikers at 4 Pennsylvania nursing homes

Sarah Boden
90.5 WESA

Workers at four Pennsylvania nursing homes reached a tentative contract agreement Thursday, nearly a week after going on strike over pay and staffing, the workers' union said.

Terms of the deal with Comprehensive Healthcare were not disclosed pending a ratification vote. Workers could be back on the job as early as Saturday, according to SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania.

Picketing outside the four homes — all in western Pennsylvania — was halted as the sides reached agreement.

The contract covers about 300 workers at those homes and two other Comprehensive-owned homes who were set to walk out on Friday.

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A total of about 700 unionized workers at 14 nursing homes statewide went on strike Sept. 2 in a dispute over pay, benefits and staffing levels. The strike continues at the 10 remaining homes — all but one of which are owned by another company, Priority Healthcare.

The union has pointed to hundreds of millions of dollars in new state and federal funding for nursing homes, whose longstanding struggles with staff turnover were made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. A trade group representing for-profit nursing homes has noted that the newly increased Medicaid reimbursements do not kick in until January, and the other aid has not yet been distributed.

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