The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

Local News

September 9, 2013

Orchard Manor, employees at odds

Medina Journal-Register — Workers at Orchard Manor Nursing Home will vote on whether to join CSEA 10 days from now.

However, according to a CSEA spokesperson, management at Orchard Manor has been using fear tactics to swing the vote.

“A lot of people are being threatened, and that will sway how they vote,” said Jill Asencio, communications specialist at CSEA. “That’s the horrible part of all this.”

After Orchard Manor was sold in the past year, workers started to notice changes at the home, Asencio said.

“They approached us in May,” she said. “They said things started to change for them and for residents, as well, this past January.”

Asensio said the workers decided it would serve them better to unionize. In recent weeks, Asensio said some “fishy people” have been spotted at the nursing home.

“They are claiming to be from human resources, but we’ve identified a couple of them from a union-busting firm,” Asensio said. “They were hired by the parent company to do this.”

The “this” Asensio was referring to includes threats to employment, changes in hours worked, and embarrassment.

Asensio said the union busters are being paid between $200 and $300 per hour, which flies contradictory to what the nursing home should spend its money on.

“It’s obvious the management of the nursing home is not making decisions with regards to what’s best for the residents,” she said.

Some of the most vocal pro-union voices include those of Christina Penna and Pam Frasier. Both have been intimidated in some way, Asensio said.

Penna, a part-time LPN, said CSEA was originally contacted to help bring job security to the employees at the nursing home.

“We wanted to have a voice,” she said. “We had meetings, and we wanted to be fair by having a campaign to unionize.

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