Meetings were recently held to discuss the sale of one of the oldest nursing homes in the Bronx.
There has been a lot of activity at the Beth Abraham facility in the past three weeks, as two meetings were held to respond to the unconfirmed sale of the nursing home that has been a neighborhood staple for decades.
On Tuesday, May 31, a town hall was held between CenterLight Health Care, who still technically owns the Beth Abraham facility (as the deal has not officially been finalized with Centers Health Care) and the facility’s employees.
The meeting, at the Beth Abraham facility on 612 Allerton Avenue, was held to update all in attendance on the all-but finalized sale and what it will mean to them.
“This meeting was held to give employees and workers an opportunity to express their concerns and frustrations,” said one employee, who wished to keep his name anonymous.
“Some of these employees were being updated for the first time, and since we (employees) haven’t been kept in the mix, I’m sure some of that information was very shocking and unsettling to hear,” the staffer added.
Last Thursday, a ‘Senior Task Force’ meeting was also held at Beth Abraham, where employees, 1199 union members met with Centers Health Care officials.
According to sources current employees were encouraged to secure a new benefits agreement before new ownership takes over.
Also at the meeting, Centers Health Care told employees and union members that they plan to replace some of the current staff with other agencies and contracts.
They also learned that the new agency plans on shedding salaries and reducing the current minimum wage of $15 per hour to $13.75, and $11 for new hires.
The employees thought that pay cuts were off the table.
Registered nurses, recreational therapists and certified nursing assistants, among other positions, may also have their roles and annual salaries reduced.
“A nursing home, one that has provided top quality care at its peak and has been an important part of the community for so long, should not be making so many changes so suddenly,” an employee said. “These changes, all which I believe are motivated through money, will run this facility’s quality of care into the ground and will eventually be a disaster for the neighborhood.”
“Longevity doesn’t mean anything anymore,” they added, referring to employees who will more than likely be let go after 20 and 30-year tenures. “Cut backs in staff, especially well-experienced employees, will only cause Beth Abraham’s quality of service to diminish.”
“In the long run, this facility’s cutting corners to save money will only result in less care, more malpractice scenarios and more confusion,” said Howard Kalish, a Beth Abraham resident for the last four years.
“In the midst of the recent changes that have taken place at Beth Abraham, I stand shoulder to should with its employees, who don’t have a clear idea of what is going to take place next and I will continue to support them during this process,” said Senator Jeff Klein.
Centers Health Care did not return a request for comment.