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Braving Freezing Temperatures, Westmoreland County Workers Picket For A Strong Contract

January 17, 2024

Westmoreland County workers are fighting for a fair contract.

(GREENSBURG) Today, dozens of Westmoreland County workers represented by SEIU Local 668 and Healthcare Pennsylvania held informational pickets in their fight for a fair contract. SEIU members have been at the bargaining table with Westmoreland County since May 2023 and have been working under an expired contract since December 31, 2023.

SEIU members began organizing informational pickets last Fall when negotiations with the County stalled. Union members have voiced their concerns about staffing challenges, particularly the struggle to recruit and retain qualified workers for positions. Workers are concerned that unsustainable wages and challenging work conditions will negatively impact the delivery of services to Westmoreland residents in need.

“We are outside today in 18-degree weather because we strongly believe that we deserve a good contract.  We have been bargaining with the County for more than eight months, and our members are frustrated that we are now working with an expired contract. We are united together as union members, and we deserve to be respected and valued as employees,” stated SEIU Local 668 Business Agent Michelle Jenkins.

“We’ve made progress, but we still haven’t gotten to where we need in order to provide the services and care Westmoreland County residents deserve, ” said Tammy Steban, a licensed practical nurse at Westmoreland Manor for over 20 years. “We’re hoping that services won’t have to be interrupted, but our county’s had a staffing crisis for too long, and we are demanding a real solution. That means making these jobs and wages competitive enough.”

SEIU Local 668 and Healthcare PA represent hundreds of public sector workers across Westmoreland County, including at 911, the Area Agency on Aging, the County Courthouse, the Department of Public Workers, Juvenile Detention and Center, and the Westmoreland Manor nursing home.