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Workers at Humboldt House nursing home approve contract

Licensed practical nurses and certified nursing assistants at the former Niagara Lutheran Home, a nursing home and rehabilitation center on Hager Street in Buffalo, have voted to approve a new contract.

The three-year contract covers 31 LPNs and 82 CNAs at the facility, now the Humboldt House Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, who are members of 1199SEIU, United Healthcare Workers East. Balloting took place Tuesday and the contract was approved with only two “no” votes, though the union would not say how many workers voted.

The union said the agreement includes pay increases of up to $2 per hour over the next two years, affordable health insurance, employer contributions to 1199’s pension and training/education funds and the creation of a labor-management committee that will meet to discuss care and staffing issues.

The LPNs had voted to join 1199SEIU at the end of March and the CNAs joined the union three years ago.

Last week, 50 dietary, housekeeping and activities aides voted to join 1199SEIU. Kim Gibson, an 1199SEIU organizer, said the union plans to begin negotiations soon on behalf of those workers for a contract seeking improved wages and benefits.

The operator of the home, according to the certificate of need filed with the state Health Department for the ownership change, is a limited liability company called NHRC Acquisition. The company is linked to Samuel Sherman, according to state records, whose family has an ownership interest in the Absolut chain of nursing homes in the area.