By HOWARD BALABAN firstname.lastname@example.org
Medina Journal-Register — According to a spokesperson for Orchard Manor, ownership and management at the facility is looking forward to working with the recently voted on employees union “for the betterment of the residents.”
“From ownership’s perspective, any needs that are raised by the people at the facility need to be addressed,” said Aaron Lichtman. “Ownership tries to provide the resources necessary to address those needs.”
Employees at Orchard Manor voted to join CSEA last Thursday. In the weeks leading up to the union vote reports abounded of questionable tactics. Several employees went on record to discuss the general feel of perceived tension at the facility.
Moving forward, Lichtman said he was hopeful that can be put in the past. “There’s no animosity toward unions from ownership’s perspective, or management, or the consultants,” he said.
Like the employees, the goal is quality patient care at the facility, he said.
“We want the primary focus to be patient care,” Lichtman explained. “We will try to continue to bring in people in the top of the field, tool the facility, improve therapy, and improve training.”
He added, “This facility wants stability, and we also want the best people possible caring for our residents.”
Orchard Manor has been operating with an interim administrator in recent weeks, and Lichtman said that was one of several positions that requires time and patience to fill.
“We have to work hard to fill those key positions, and sometimes some positions take longer to fill than others,” he stated. “We have to find good people who can provide the type of care we’re looking for, and enhance our reputation.
“We want this to be the go-to facility in the area,” he added. “We want things to work out.”
One of the next steps to take with the union is negotiations of a contract, which could affect the facility’s budget. Lichtman said the budget will still be focused “as much as possible on the interests of residents.”
However, Lichtman pointed out that before any union negotiations take place the vote itself is being looked at to determine whether its outcome was decided in part due to coercion or by a genuine intent on behalf of the employees.
“There were many complaints made and we’re looking into them,” he said. However, he also said ownership is not “ideologically opposed to unions” and “supports workers having a free right to determine whether they want to collectively bargain.
“Having a happy productive workforce is in everyone’s interests,” he added.