Following a wave of successful efforts to raise the minimum wage in California and New York, and with news that nursing home workers in Pennsylvania won a $15 starting wage, SEIU 1199 held a “Fight for $15″ rally at the State House Wednesday afternoon.
“I shouldn’t have to rely on food stamps if I’m working 40 hours a week taking care of people. But I do! Honestly, I could be making more at Dunkin’ Donts and that’s ridiculous,” said Nichole Ward, a CNA at Greenville Skilled Nursing and Rehab in a statement.
Of special interest was legislation submitted by Rep Scott Slater (H7547) and Senator Gayle Goldin (S2521) that directs funds in the nursing home budget to raise wages for nursing home workers. Similar legislation was passed in Massachusetts last year. Both Goldin and Slater promised to fight for this legislation, with Slater calling it his top priority.
Shirley Lomba, a CNA/CMT for 14 years warned that talented nurses will soon be leaving our state for the better paying jobs in Massachusetts, saying, “many of us will drive 15-20 minutes… where we can earn more money.”