As we’ve recently discussed, there seems to be a growing dissent amongst the ranks of nursing home employees about the conditions in many local nursing homes, and many groups of nurses, caretakers, and other employees have begun to vent their frustrations with the very facilities they work for (and the ownership groups behind them) in increasingly public displays.
This has included several of the visible protests we’ve discussed that have been in the news in recent months and, most recently, a demonstration that included a candlelight vigil and protest outside of several prominent facilities along the north side of Chicago.
The main points of contention of the workers seem to be many of the same common points that have made headlines during this ongoing dispute — low wages, long hours, low staffing levels, and a perceived unwillingness of ownership groups to invest their sizeable profits back into the facilities — and these are all, by and large, valid points.
What makes this particular set of demonstrations particularly noteworthy is the inclusion of local politicians and community advocates joining in on the side of the angry nursing home employees. This is a pretty good indication that this dispute is beginning to merge into the political dispute that we’ve also discussed over recent months, as politicians have argued at length over certain provisions, such as the specific of staffing level requirements, that were left “open ended” in the 2010 Nursing Home Care Act.
It’s hardly a secret that powerful advocates on both sides of this dispute have been behind the scenes in many of these disputes, but public displays such as these suggest that there are likely more highly visible public relations tactics to come.
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