Employees at nursing home walk off the job

LEBANON, Pa. (WHTM) – Penny Kleintfelter led chants Friday outside the place where she’s worked for the past decade.

At noon, about 300 employees walked out of the Cedar Haven Healthcare Facility, a nursing home, in South Lebanon Township.

Members of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2732 started their strike after they claim they were forced to adopt a contract which they said cuts paid time off.

Employees like Kleintfelter, who is the president of the union, said they are only getting seven days off a year.

“If I want to take a vacation with my family it couldn’t be more than a week and then I wouldn’t be able to have a sick day the rest of the entire year,” Kleinfelter told ABC 27 News.

AFSCME leaders also said the contract, which they did not approve, also includes substantial increases in healthcare costs.

“Our health insurance here though did not go up very much,” Kleinfelter added.

According to those on the picket line, negotiations started about three months ago.

Steve Mullen, AFSCME council director, said it was hard for the employees to walk out on the residents of the nursing home.

“All of these employees care deeply about the residents,” he added. “That’s why this facility has a 5-star rating. It has a 5-star rating because these employees care about their jobs and the residents here.”

ABC27 News was told that other employees would be brought in to care for the residents during the strike.

ABC27 News reached out to owners of Cedar Haven, but they didn’t respond on Friday.

Employees said they plan on being on the picket line from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day.

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