Caregivers at two West Palm Beach nursing homes are going on strike Thursday, asking for a raise to $15 an hour.
Organizers say 19 nursing homes in the state are going on strike, potentially the largest private healthcare strike in the Southeast in a decade.
Workers there have been pushing for better conditions and pay for the past year. The Paraprofessional Health Institute has released a report talking about the need to raise standards.
The report says these jobs are "Characterized by low pay, poor benefits, erratic scheduling and little advancement opportunity."
Consulate Healthcare is the sixth largest long term care provider in the country and the largest in Florida. And the population of elderly people in our state is only getting larger. These issues will only loom larger as time goes on.
Across the country Thursday workers will be striking, supporting the Fight for 15 campaign, which hopes to raise the minimum wage. In the past these strikes have involved mostly employees from the fast food industry. Today, healthcare and childcare workers join the fight.
In reaction to the protests, Consulate Health Care released the following statement:
"While we are disappointed in the union's decision to strike, the continuity of patient and resident care will remain unaffected thanks to the combined efforts of our dedicated staff and compassionate fellow care center volunteers. We will continue to work in good faith, as we have always done, towards a resolution."