300 homecare workers from Revera Home Health in Windsor, turned into activists for their own cause and the result of the effort was nothing less than a landslide win in the ballot box. They voiced out their collective support to join SEIU when they voted “YES” by a whopping 90%.
“My main motivation for forming a union is to get the respect that we need and deserve,” said Cathy McWhinnie, an RN who works at the company. “We need to all work together as a team.”
Revera Home Health in Windsor had a long, bad track record with the way they treat their employees. The group of PSWs, RPNs and RNs were challenged on a daily basis with their schedules, vacation requests, and lack of stability and respect.
“There is no one to stick up for us. We have to stick up for ourselves,” said Linda Everett, another PSW who works for Revera. “You really can’t get involved to help your friends out even if you want to.”
To top it all off, Revera Home health decided to cut mileage and travel time by an average of $2,000 per employee, per year.
“This $2,000 cut makes a tremendous difference for me and my family,” said Sheena Treminio, a PSW who works at Revera. “It means that each of my household members will have to make a sacrifice.”
With the support of an SEIU Healthcare organizing team and member organizers, they ran a campaign that highlighted their demands in newspapers and on radio mobilizing their co-workers and community to form their union.
“It was a proud moment for me when one of my clients talked to me about our campaign and asked me when and where he should go and vote to help us create our union” said Suzanne Churchill, an RPN at Revera Home Health.
This is just the beginning for this group of homecare workers who have learnt through this experience that their collective power is a real table turner. They are now working together as a group to identify the main issues that they need to fix and they plan to work with their employer to address those needs as they move towards creating their first collective agreement.
“Having a union, having a contract, sets the standard of employment,” said Justin Lambert, an RPN at Revera Home Health. “Not just for myself, but for everyone else I work with.” he added.
If you know any Revera or Paramed, non-union homecare workers who share the same mistreatment, please call us on: 1-855- SEIU ORG and we will help them out.