Workers at Kane Community Living Centers achieve multiple gains with first USW contract

Roughly 500 workers at Kane Community Living Centers in western Pennsylvania have ratified their first collective bargaining agreement since unanimously voting to become USW members in January 2022.

The bargaining unit consists of Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), recreation aides, dietary and housekeeping workers, and material handlers at the Allegheny County-run assisted living and senior facilities in four different townships.

“This is the best contract I can remember us having,” said Desirae Beatty, who has worked at Kane for 18 years as a CNA. She and her co-workers were previously represented by another union. That contract expired in December 2021. “I mostly wanted to make sure we didn’t lose anything, and we ended up gaining a lot.”

As part of the four-year agreement, LPNs will receive an hourly raise of $3 immediately; by the end of the contract, they will receive another $2 an hour. Workers with at least three years of service will also now receive longevity raises, and the uniform allowance is increased to $400.

Part-time workers will also now be represented by the union, another major win, according to Beatty, who served on the bargaining committee for the first time. She also said one of the biggest victories this time around was clearer communication and a sense of true solidarity.

“Our staff rep made sure our voices were heard and that we all were involved in the process,” said Beatty. “It made me feel like I’m part of this union, and I’m excited to see us all more united.”

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