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Assisted living workers seek living wages at Aegis Living

The following is from SEIU 775:

SEATTLE (March 6, 2024) — Workers of Aegis Living Ravenna gathered Tuesday outside the facility to rally for Aegis to complete union contract negotiations and pay its workers a living wage.

Seattle-based Aegis Living is an assisted living facility bringing in more than $200 million in yearly revenue. Aegis increased resident fees this year, but that money isn’t making its way to the people doing the work. Most of the frontline workers at Aegis facilities are getting paid just two-thirds of Seattle’s living wage.

Workers at Aegis Living Ravenna voted to unionize more than 10 months ago, but Aegis management has failed to schedule another bargaining date and respond fairly to workers’ demands for higher pay.

Speakers at the rally included Aegis Ravenna workers Ana Bounthong and Gurnesh Chetty, SEIU 775 Vice President Andrew Beane, MLK Labor Executive Secretary-Treasurer Katie Garrow, and King County Councilmembers Girmay Zahilay and Rod Dembowski. All called for Aegis to meet workers at the bargaining table.

“Caregivers are the heart and soul of the company, but we get forgotten. If we’re injured – goodbye employment, and goodbye benefits. We’re not recognized for the work we do and the value we have as workers,” said Ana Bounthong, a worker at Aegis Ravenna. “We care about the residents, but we also need the compensation we deserve as workers. We’re not against the company. If we are properly cared for, we can better care for our residents.”

“Aegis workers have been fighting for their Union contract since March of last year. It’s long past time for Aegis to meet workers at the bargaining table and agree to pay them a living wage,” said Sterling Harders, President of SEIU 775. “The 50,000 caregivers of SEIU 775 can’t wait for them to join us. We’re with them every step of the way.”

Aegis is a high-end facility that was forced to pay $16 million to Washington and California residents after a class-action lawsuit claiming that Aegis Senior Communities LLC violated consumer protection and elder abuse laws by misleading residents and families about staffing levels.

Low pay for workers and short staffing can mean compromised care for residents – who are paying thousands of dollars a month to Aegis.

SEIU 775 represents more than 50,000 long-term care workers providing quality home care, nursing home care, and residential services in Washington, Montana, and Alaska.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!