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All 96 workers to lose jobs as Emerald South nursing home closes

The receiver running the troubled Emerald South nursing home has officially notified the state that it intends to lay off all of its 96 employees.

But some of those workers will have a chance to apply for jobs at nearby Emerald North Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Emerald South’s companion home, a spokesman for the receiver said Tuesday.

The receiver's mandatory notification to the state Department of Labor says 160 employees will be terminated from employment no later than Jan. 31, but that figure includes employees who no longer work at Emerald South.

The Jan. 31 date serves as “an intended parameter” for the closing of Emerald South at 1175 Delaware Ave., said Jay Lawrence, spokesman for the receiver, Grand Healthcare System of New York City. But he pointed out the facility’s residents must all be transferred before it can close.

One-third of Emerald South’s residents have been moved to other nursing homes, including approximately 20 to Emerald North at 1205 Delaware, Lawrence said.

Charles Cattrall visits with his daughter ,Kathleen Cattrall and her dog, Brixton, in the living room of his Niagara Falls home. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)

Emerald South has 122 beds, but when the Health Department appointed Grand Healthcare receiver in late October, there were 64 residents, according to state Health Department census figures. Emerald North, with 95 beds, currently has 26 available beds.

“We’re diligently working to make sure folks are placed appropriately because their care and well-being are paramount,” Lawrence said.

As for Emerald South workers facing layoffs, Lawrence said there will be a job fair at Emerald North next week with representatives from other nursing homes looking to hire workers.

Todd Hobler, vice president of union local 1199SEIU, which represents most of the workers at Emerald South, said Emerald South workers will be able to bid on jobs at Emerald North once the receiver determines how many vacancies exist there.

Many area nursing home operators have contacted the union with job vacancies, “so we’re hopeful everyone will land on their feet,” Hobler said.

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