1199SEIU Statement on NJ Nursing Home Reform Package
Statement of Milly Silva, Executive Vice President of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, on Gov. Murphy’s signing of bills to reform the nursing home industry:
“1199SEIU applauds and congratulates Governor Phil Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney, and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin for enacting this reform package to bring much-needed changes to our long-term care system.
“For too long, nursing homes in our state have operated without proper oversight and some have put their bottom line before the needs and wellbeing of their vulnerable patients.
“As we head into the fall, these reforms will help protect nursing home patients against future viral outbreaks by establishing better statewide coordination among facilities and developing stronger safety requirements.
“Over the past six months, nursing home workers across New Jersey have heroically risen to the challenges of COVID-19. Critically, this legislative package recognizes the importance of investing in these frontline caregivers to ensure that we have a stable, healthy, and growing workforce that is able to meet the needs of our state’s aging population, now and in the future.
“Restructuring our nursing home industry cannot end here, however. These are important first steps, but they must be followed by additional measures to protect nursing home residents and their caregivers.
“As an immediate next step, 1199SEIU calls for passage of bill S2712/A4652 to enact strong CNA-to-patient ratios in nursing facilities. Nursing home residents, family members, caregivers and advocates have all pointed to deplorable staffing conditions as a primary failure to meeting residents’ physical and emotional needs, both before and during this pandemic. It is time to pass this staffing bill and make New Jersey a national model for compassionate nursing home care.”
1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in New Jersey and nationwide. We represent over 16,000 healthcare families in New Jersey and over 450,000 total members throughout New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, Florida, and Washington, D.C. Our mission is to achieve quality care and good jobs for all.