Last week, Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) at the Allegro Nursing Home in St. Petersburg, Fla., voted ‘Union Yes’ to join the 7,000 members of the UFCW Local 1625. Thirty Certified Nursing Assistants on staff came together to form a union in order to improve working conditions at Allegro.
“I am so proud of my team today. We stood up to management’s efforts to intimidate and divide us, and together, we won,” said Eleanor Mitchell, CNA, who has worked for Allegro for 25 years. “With a union, we now have the power to shape a better future at Allegro.”
An election overseen by the National Labor Relations Board showed strong support for a union, with more than 90 percent of votes returned in favor of the union.
“The courage shown by these workers is extraordinary. These Certified Nursing Assistants are standing up for the dignity of all workers in the caretaking professions,” said Ed Chambers, President of UFCW Local 1625 headquartered in Lakeland, Fla.
The 30 CNAs were able to form a unit made up of a single job classification following a 2011 decision by the National Labor Relations Board in Specialty Healthcare and Rehabilitation of Mobile. This decision permitted CNAs to form union bargaining units by ruling that CNAs as “readily identifiable as a group” and as sharing a “community of interest.”
The workers will now begin negotiating with Allegro for their first union contract and seek to establish a more fair and transparent schedule for raises and better working conditions.