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Support staff at Humboldt House get raises in new contract

Support staff workers at the Humboldt House Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Buffalo will receive a boost in pay in the 2½-year contract they approved this month, according to 1199SEIU, United Healthcare Workers East, which represents the workers.

The contract covers 61 housekeepers, laundry aides, dietary staff, maintenance techs, activity aides and unit clerks at the nursing home on Hager Street, the former Niagara Lutheran Home. This is the first contract for the workers since they voted to join 1199SEIU in July.

The agreement took effect as of its ratification date, Dec. 1, and runs through April 30, 2019. Workers in the bargaining unit earned between $9 and about $16 per hour, depending on their position and length of service, said Todd Hobler, an 1199SEIU vice president.

The contract ensures the lowest-paid workers will earn at least 25 cents more than the minimum wage as it rises over the next several years. The highest-paid workers will earn 3 percent, 2.5 percent and 2.5 percent raises annually during the contract.

The agreement also includes employer contributions to 1199’s pension and training/education funds. Union officials said members approved the contract unanimously but declined to say how many members voted.

1199SEIU also represents licensed practical nurses and certified nursing assistants at the nursing home.

The operator of the home 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.

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