The Service Employees International Union has reached what it calls a "breakthrough national agreement" with nursing home operator GranCare. As a result, the SEIU said the agreement would postpone scheduled work stoppages against GranCare until Oct. 27.
Although details of the agreement haven't been completed, the SEIU said it would "provide healthcare workers in this traditionally low-wage industry with pensions, state-by-state master contracts, a voice in patient care and a progressive set of fair-play rules" for organizing campaigns at GranCare facilities.
A spokeswoman for GranCare in Atlanta said the negotiations concerned 16 nursing homes in Michigan, Northern California and Wisconsin, where strikes had been scheduled. GranCare has 137 U. S. homes. The regional master contracts in those three states would expire May 1, 1998. The contract details "need to be worked out between the union and GranCare, then it has to go to each region for ratification," she said. "We anticipate it will be a lengthy process."