Pittsburgh, PA – Roughly 500 workers at four Kane Community Living Centers voted unanimously January 21 to join the United Steelworkers union (USW).
Debbie Blakeley, a recreation aide at the Kane Ross Center facility in Ross Township, said that workers voted to join the USW in order to pursue workplace rights and a voice on the job as well as stronger wages and benefits.
“Respect is a big thing for all of us,” said Blakeley, who has worked at the Kane Centers for 37 years. “I’m looking forward to working with the union to get what we deserve, because we all work really hard.”
The bargaining unit will consist of certified nurse assistants, licensed practical nurses, recreation aides, dietary and housekeeping workers, and material handlers at the Allegheny County-run assisted living and senior facilities in McKeesport, Glen Hazel, Ross Township and Scott Township.
The union vote, which began on December 15, 2021, was certified through the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board. The new bargaining committee will enter negotiations for a first contract as USW members in the coming weeks.
“We’ve been striving all year to make this election happen, and I am so glad we can now move on to the work of bargaining a fair contract,” said Desirae Beatty, who has been with Kane for 17 years as a certified nursing assistant. “We have shown the county and Kane that we can organize and move as one, and we are ready for a positive change.”
Kane workers will now join the nearly 150 other Allegheny County workers represented by the USW and the more than 50,000 other USW-represented health care workers across North America.