An elated group of Upstate NY nursing home workers have become the newest members of 1199SEIU. On September 5, workers at the Sunnyside Nursing Home in East Syracuse voted 48 to four to join the union.
“We’re very excited about joining 1199,” said Sunnyside LPN Fred Zuti of Solvay. Zuti said the victory has boosted morale among his co-workers, which in turn will also benefit their residents. “Everybody’s coming together. There’s unity where there hasn’t been any in a while.”
The victory adds 68 workers to the 1199SEIU rolls. Zuti said the main reason he voted for 1199 is for the union’s retirement benefits. He said this is a major issue for the workers, because Sunnyside management offered no pension and no employer match to their 401(k) contributions.
“We all love the facility dearly and want to stay there,” said Zuti, “but we wouldn’t be able to without a pension. Now, there’s an overall feeling of hope.”