Workers at a memory care facility in Springfield are seeking to unionize. They delivered a petition to management Monday.
The Rawlin at Riverbend Memory Care is owned by Onelife Investments. Workers say they are inadequately staffed and that residents suffer because of it. Summer Trosko is a med tech who has worked at the Rawlin for three years.
“We’re short-staffed all the time,” said Trosko. “The training is really bad. New caregivers training new caregivers. Med techs training for one day and then they’re putting them on the floor.”
Trosko said 21 residents have died in the past 8 weeks. Six from Covid-19. “And most of them have died alone.” Her colleague Hermes Ochoa said there’s just not enough staff to give adequate care.
“You know, behind closed doors, people aren’t being taken care of properly,” Ochoa said. “People are being forgotten about. People becoming sick or ill.”
Ochoa said he and other workers have brought their concerns to management but they’ve “fallen on deaf ears.” He said employees aren’t sticking around because the pay is low, just $12.40 an hour, and with short staffing, the work is difficult.
According to a press release from the Service Employees International Union, 85% of The Rawlin employees signed the petition to unionize. The union says The Rawlin’s parent company, Onelife Investments, received $260,858 in CARES funds, but that hasn’t translated into better policies at the facility.
The workers want immediate recognition of their union and expedited contract negotiations.
In response to a request for comment, Jack Falk, Founder of Onelife Investments, emailed to say he was surprised by the workers' complaints and petition to unionize. He said they're "focusing all our energy and on making The Rawlin a great place to live and work."
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