FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Melissa Moriarty
Victory: Nursing home workers vote to unionize with SEA/SEIU Local 1984
BRENTWOOD – On Thursday, Oct. 3, workers at the Rockingham County Rehabilitation and Nursing Center voted 75-42 to organize a union with SEA/SEIU Local 1984. The vote came at the end of a lengthy campaign that included visits from presidential and gubernatorial candidates, faith and community groups, and a stream of support from a dozen presidential candidates and elected officials on social media.
Workers at the nursing home began self-organizing and later reached out to the SEA for help. This huge win means that these workers will now have the ability to enter into collective bargaining with county officials in a process protected by state law. Leading up to the vote, support from political leaders and candidates swelled – both with visits to the facility and with social media posts. That support helped sustain the energy needed to get across the finish line.
“My co-workers and I have spoken out because we care so much about the work that we do,” said Diane Sampson, a medication nursing assistant at the facility. “There are plenty of jobs we could get for better wages and benefits – we’re here because we’re dedicated to the care of our residents. We’re not just speaking out for ourselves, we’re speaking out for them. The support we’ve seen leading up the vote helped keep us moving – going forward, it’s good to know so many people have got our back.”
SEA/SEIU Local 1984 President Rich Gulla cheered the election result.
“We’re ecstatic for these workers today, knowing that their voices have been heard,” Gulla said. “SEA/SEIU Local 1984 is based on the belief that strong unions build stronger communities. By organizing, these workers have the opportunity to improve their own lives but also to improve the lives of community members, by advocating for the resources and staffing they need to provide the care the county’s residents deserve. Much work lies ahead and we’ll be there with them step by step, but for today, we want to celebrate this huge win with them.”