Massachusetts caregivers stage protests for a livable wage

When we put our aging parents and relatives into care facilities, we like to think that they are being treated with care and respect. Indeed, we need to believe that the caregivers themselves are being treated with kindness and fairness.

Sadly, news coming from a large nursing home chain in Massachusetts says this isn’t happening. The situation at the nursing home chain shows that there exists the potential for nursing home negligence, exploitation and greed where there is a strong focus on the balance-sheet before any other core values.

So what’s happening with the staff at this chain? There is a growing wave of unrest and impatience, and some staff and their supporters have been staging protests at some facilities. Complaints include:

  • Poverty wage. The staff is being paid minimum wage for responsible jobs. Some of them are adults with families to support and are struggling to survive on less than $9 an hour.
  • No health insurance. The insurance plans being sold by the group to the public are not affordable to the staff on their low wages. Staff have reported that a company representative responded that they should be applying for government health benefits.
  • By disrespecting the well-being of the caregivers, decision-makers are disrespecting the thousands of residents whose happiness and health are the staff’s daily responsibility.

Neglect and negligence are very real problems in the nursing homes of Massachusetts – yes, by underpaid, under motivated front-line staff – but also by executive decision-makers behind-the-scenes.

If somebody you know has been affected by maltreatment at a nursing home facility, consider taking legal action against the home or the group to which it belongs. A personal injury attorney will be able to outline all the possible actions a victim of nursing home negligence may take.

Source: boston.com, “Labor unrest grows at largest nursing home chain in Massachusetts,” Jeff Hall, Feb. 26, 2014