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Delmar nursing home workers hold candlelight vigil

 Delmar nursing home workers' candlelight vigil February 9, 2022
Mindy Berman
Delmar nursing home workers' candlelight vigil February 9, 2022

Nursing home workers held a candlelight vigil Wednesday at the Delmar Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing.

Nurses, recreation, housekeeping and dietary staff represented by 1199SEIU say they haven't seen a pay raise since 2018. They claim the nursing home is extremely short-staffed and that long hours, fatigue and stress often mean qualified healthcare workers leave, making the situation worse.

LPN David Geurin says they want to renegotiate their contract which would help fill positions and eliminate the need to bring in outside temporary help.

"I've been working in this facility for almost nine years," Geurin said. "I have residents I have built long-term relationships with. I feel continuity of care in working with these people is essential."

The union says it hasn't been able to find common ground with facility owner Bronx-based Centers Health Care, which did not immediately comment.

UPDATE 2/10/22 12:15PM Centers Health Care Spokesperson Jeff Jacomowitz responded to a request for comment from WAMC “Delmar Center recognizes the amazing care our employees provide every day in face of this global pandemic and nationwide workforce shortage.”

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.