CHICAGO, IL – A tentative agreement between Infinity Healthcare Management and its nursing home workers was reached on Friday after nearly 700 employees went on strike nearly two weeks ago.
Hundreds of workers at 11 Illinois locations of Infinity Health Care Management nursing homes went on strike on Nov. 23. Nine of those nursing homes are in the Chicago area.
Nursing home workers include cooks, housekeepers, and certified nursing assistants. Employees have been negotiating a new contact since June, immediately following when their last contract was expired.
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.
Under a new three-year contract, all workers would receive a minimum $1 an hour raise, with the average staff member receiving a $2 an hour wage increase. Workers would also earn annual raises in year two and three of the contract, according to SEIU Healthcare Illinois union leaders.
Nursing home workers in facilities with verified coronavirus cases or facilities being monitored due to COVID-19 cases, will also receive an increase in pandemic pay, from $2 an hour to $2.50 an hour. Employees will also gain five days of COVID-19 related sick time and be guaranteed adequate personal protective equipment.
Chicago Sun Times reported union leaders said under the new proposed contract, the average hourly wage will jump from $13.65 to $15.58. 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.