Wanda Wilson is one of many workers at the Ellicott Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing on Buffalo’s west side, who says the working conditions are risky and stressful and they need hazard pay.
“It’s not fair and i could try to go out and buy stuff but I’m already limited i don’t have hazard pay,” she said.
Wilson loves her work, but she says there’s been problems with having enough face masks to go around. She says if she had hazard pay, she would purchase masks she needs to work
“Right Now, it honestly just starts with having enough PPE for everybody, not just a covid floor or a covid room, but everybody,” she said. “This isn’t a hospital, we don’t have those rooms that vent to the outside. We don’t have that. And as much as you want to protect everybody, you’re not protecting everybody by making them reuse PPE that’s not supposed to be reused.”
The union that represents Wilson and other nursing home workers held a protest caravan demanding PPE and hazard pay for all workers.
“These guys they’re heroes. We appreciate them so much, but it’s not enough to call them heroes. It’s not enough to say we appreciate you, they deserve to be compensated for the risk that they’re taking,” said Hannah Lorenc administrative organizer with 1199SEIU healthcare workers.
“Ellicott Center on Seventh Street and Buffalo Center on Delaware Avenue have had ample supply of PPE since early March as per the guidelines of the New York State Department of Health and the CDC. Our clinical leadership and regional educators have educated the staff on washing PPE so they can be used again. Depending upon the particular clinical staff personnel, there are two types of gowns, disposable for limited usage and washable, made to be used again when they are disinfected. Like the face shields, masks, gowns are part of the PPE process and there is an ample amount of supply, per the state and CDC guidelines.”
— Centers Health Care Spokesperson