Nursing assistant Danielle Taylor said going out on strike, even for just one day was a tough decision.
“I personally told all my patients yesterday that I loved them,” she said. “You get very attached to the patients that you take care. I personally work on long term. So, I take care of my people for as long as they are here. As long as they stay here on Earth. They are like my family.”
Danielle is one of dozens of employees from Spring Hill Health and Rehabilitation Center that walked out for 24 hours.
Nursing assistants here start at $9 an hour.
But on the heels of similar battles in New York and California, these workers want salaries bumped up to $15 an hour.
“We are struggling providing for our families. We end up going to food pantries because things get tight,” said nursing assistant Eileen O’ Connor.
In all 950 employees are striking around Florida at other Consulate Healthcare owned facilities including another one in Venice.
To make matters worse, employees on the picket line say they are staring at a sign offering seasonal hires $18 an hour.
Consulate Healthcare sent us a statement saying:
“While we are disappointed in the union’s decision to strike. The continuity of patient and resident care will remain unaffected thanks to the combined efforts of our dedicated staff and compassionate fellow care center volunteers. We will continue to work in good faith, as we have always done, towards a resolution.”
The strike will end Friday morning and the nurses will go back to work.
There are concerns about repercussions.
But Danielle said she will continue working as hard as ever for the patients that depend on her.
“They know I’ll be back for them. That I will never leave them,” she said.