The Allure of Stealing Identities – Will the real Joel Landau of Rivington Please Take a Bow.

landaurivingtonblackface.1234151345

Dear Mr. Joel Landau (not Rabbi Landau):

At the risk of violating your attorney’s copyright claims, we did not use your picture. You might have wanted us to in this instance since it looks like your name is being used in multiple places. 

Dear Rabbi Landau (not Joel Landau of Rivington fame (notoriety):

Please submit a photo of yourself if you would like us to publish a clear and unequivocal distinction. We hope to be of some assistance in clearing this up for you. We did not even seek out a publicly available photograph since your identity appears to have been trampled on enough.

LM

https://therealdeal.com/2017/04/24/california-rabbi-says-hes-not-the-joel-landau-promoting-allure-group-online/

California rabbi says he’s not the Joel Landau promoting Allure Group online

Online posts use San Francisco man’s photo and bio to talk up shamed real estate firm

A California rabbi named Joel Landau says he has nothing to do with posts made online under that name promoting the Allure Group.

The San Francisco rabbi’s photo and biography were used to promote the Allure Group, run by a different Joel Landau, to promote the company online, the New York Daily News reported.

A post on the Times of Israel website, for example, talks about growth in the healthcare sector and points to Allure as a firm that “managed to position themselves as the best possible alternative for elderly patients, providing them with affordable quality care.”

The post then links to the website of Allure’s Landau, who played a key role in removing a deed restriction from the Lower East Side’s Rivington House before selling the property to Slate Property Group, China Vanke and Adam America Real Estate for $116 million.

The Landau based out of San Francisco said he had nothing to do with the posts.

“For some strange reason, someone is using me to blog,” the rabbi said. “Anyone who does a little bit of research on Allure sees that they’re embroiled in some less than savory things.”

“None of that is mine,” he added. “Absolutely, positively nothing. Zilch.”

Allure, which specializes in nursing homes, did not return a request for comment. In December, CABS Nursing Home filed a lawsuit against Allure, claiming the company forced out residents shortly after buying the property, and it ultimately led to the deaths of some of the facility’s residents.

 

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Rabbi Joel Landau of San Francisco Identity Stolen by Joel Landau of Rivington?

rivington house

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/health-firm-linked-rivington-scandal-steals-rabbi-identity-article-1.3092909

Health care firm with ties to Rivington nursing home accused of stealing San Francisco rabbi’s identity

A California rabbi says his identity has been stolen in an apparent effort to promote a controversial health care firm tied to the Rivington House scandal and run by a man of the same name.

Rabbi Joel Landau of San Francisco had his photo and biography used in a series of online posts he says he had nothing to do with — some promoting the Allure Group, run in New York by a different Joel Landau.

Allure is the company that got a deed restriction lifted on the lowest East Side nursing home Rivington House — then sold the building at a huge profit to a condo developer, sparking a series of investigations.

“For some strange reason, someone is using me to blog,” Rabbi Joel Landau said. “Anyone who does a little bit of research on Allure sees that they’re embroiled in some less than savory things.”

City fires official at center of Rivington deed restriction flub

One post published on the Times of Israel website discusses the growth of the healthcare sector, before citing Allure as a company that “managed to position themselves as the best possible alternative for elderly patients, providing them with affordable quality care” and linking to the website of Allure principal Joel Landau.

Posts were also published under Rabbi Landau’s picture about Israel technology and Jewish immigration in Boston, and a Twitter account was created in his name that linked to the various posting.

“None of that is mine,” said Landau. “Absolutely, positively nothing. Zilch.”

“It’s a really bizarre story,” he said.

A call to Allure on Sunday was not returned.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/health-firm-linked-rivington-scandal-steals-rabbi-identity-article-1.3092909

 

Joel Landau – Have You no Shame? An Allure of Disgust – but no photo of your face!

 

allure without landau

THE REAL DEAL

Allure demands lender pay $40M for Brooklyn nursing home

Joel Landau’s firm and Sabre Group are fighting over terms of loan default

March 06, 2017 01:40PM
By Kathryn Brenzel

The Allure Group fired back against a lawsuit filed by its lender on a Brooklyn nursing home, claiming that the financial firm should pay $40 million for the property.

 

Allure, headed by Joel Landau, claims that the Sabre Group must pay $40 million for 270 Nostrand Avenue and an additional $6 million because the sale of the property didn’t close on time, according to documents filed in state Supreme Court. Allure, one of the developers at the center of the Rivington House scandal, maintains that “the express and unambiguous provisions” of the mortgage it received from Sabre require the Midtown firm to pay $40 million for the property.

A spokesperson for Sabre would only say that Allure has “been in default for quite some time and that’s why we’re pursuing our claims.”

Sabre sued Allure in December, accusing the company of failing to repay a $20 million loan it provided to acquire the Brooklyn nursing home. Allure purchased CABS Nursing Home in Bedford-Stuyvesant in 2015 for $15.5 million. Sabre claims that, under the terms of the mortgage, it can purchase the nursing home for $25 million because Allure defaulted.

But Allure alleges that because the property was vacant and had no pending litigation at the time that Sabr tried to act on its purchase right, the lender is on the hook for higher purchasing price. The landlord also claims that a liquidated damages provision in the mortgage requires Sabr to put $6 million toward the outstanding balance on its loan, since the financial firm failed to acquire the property after Allure repeatedly scheduled closing dates.

Landau declined to comment.

In December, the city admitted that it did not have a legal case against Allure, despite Mayor Bill de Blasio’s promise to sue the company for flipping 45 Rivington Street. Allure made $72 million when it sold the property to Slate Property Group. In April, New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued subpoenas after Allure filed demolition plans for the Nostrand property, with the intention of replacing it with a seven-story, 241-unit rental building.

The nursing home filed a lawsuit against Allure in December claiming the company marketed itself as a nursing home business while bidding for the property and instead forced residents out. The lawsuit also notes that the property flip may have led to the deaths of a few nursing home residents, who they say were forced out.

An Alluring Moral Imperative – Save Our Elderly Keep them OUT of Allure or Landau Run Facilities – Letter…

NO PICTURES PERMITTED! 

JOEL LANDAU – ALLURE -JOE LANDAU – ALLURE – JOE LANDAU – ALLURE –

KEEP AWAY!!!!!!

Dear LM –

As you know, I have an interest in seeing to it that there is better protection for the most vulnerable in our community, those to whom we owe our gratitude and respect, the elderly. I can’t help but wondering how we went from being a civilized society to one that cares so little about anything beyond our own pockets. I can’t help but point to the wealthy beneficiaries of our lack of morality as it applies to the elderly. In your comments regarding Joel Landau and Allure, a request for information and a hope that he will be taken out of the equation where the elderly are concerned, I found hope that perhaps my own loved ones would one day be redeemed, albeit posthumously.

THE ALLURE GROUP: – Enabled by Governor Cuomo and the Public Health Planning Council:

I cannot help but going back to where the cancer began vis a vis NY State Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities: namely Albany and the Public Health and Health Planning Council-appointed by Governor Cuomo. Presently much is reliant on Attorney General Schneiderman ‘s lawsuit effort to prevent Allure from buying two more facilities: the Harlem Nursing Home and  the Sts  Joachim & Anne Nursing  Home…a situation which would have been prevented had the PHHPC & Governor Cuomo, who appoints these deleterious license enablers, been called to account for the many years of lousy management and sub-par responsibility.

If you believe as I do…and if credit is given to the reported documentation clearly showing that too many of the so-called ‘operators’ of long term care facilities in New York buy these places only to churn them, one cannot merely place the blame on Mayor de Blasio  & his rabid real estate gaming malfeasance. The story began with the certification and enabling of amoral and predatory owners who should never have been allowed to obtain nursing home certification from the PHHPC in the first place.

IT ALL BEGAN IN ALBANY!

Since the indignation and moralistic baloney from Landau/Allure fly in the face of reality and takes front and center in the news, past and present they are the perfect example to reference.  If one looks at the online published segment of a Feb 2016 Public Health & Health Planning Council report one can see how they got where they are:

PHHPC- PROJECT #152128-B HARLEM CENTER FOR NURSING & REHAB:

https://www.health.ny.gov/facilities/public_health_and_health_

planning_council/meetings/2016-01-28/docs/exhibits.pdf

The following screen shots were taken from the above report:
unnamed-1

Continue reading

Joel Landau – Allure Group – Shameless Behavior – if What is Claimed is Right

 

joel-landau-270-nostrand

BK nursing home blames Allure Group for resident deaths

http://therealdeal.com/2016/12/22/brooklyn-nursing-home-blames-allure-group-for-death-of-certain-residents/

A Brooklyn nursing home is blaming the Allure Group for the deaths of some of its residents, saying the landlord wrongly forced the residents out.

CABS Nursing Home in Bedford-Stuyvesant filed a lawsuit against Allure, claiming the company forced out residents soon after buying the facility in 2015, the New York Post reported. Allure’s efforts to quickly flip the property, the lawsuit alleges, led to the untimely deaths of some of CABS’ residents. The nursing home also claims that it turned down higher bids for the property because Allure, led by Joel Landau, billed itself as a company with nursing home experience.

An attorney for Allure fired back that the company never agreed “to operate a nursing home for any period of time, much less forever.”

Earlier this month, Allure was hit with another lawsuit related to CABS. Sabr Group claimed that Allure repeatedly fell behind on a $20 million loan and was trying to force the lender to buy the property at a 60 percent markup from an earlier price.

In April, New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued subpoenas after Allure filed demolition plans for the nursing home, with the intention of replacing it with a seven-story, 241-unit rental building.

Allure is also at the center of the Rivington House scandal. The company negotiated to have the deed restriction removed from the Lower East Side property, paving the way for the sale of the nursing home to Slate Property Group and several partners. [NYP]Kathryn Brenzel 

Joel Landau -The Allure of Escaping Millions Richer – Sorry… No Pictures Please

rivington house

Dear Reader:

Joel Landau, through a series of demands and other bullying tactics sent in the form of threatening letters from Wordpress, claimed an array of Copyright violations. The poor little man did not like having his face on our pages. So he had his pictures forcibly removed from our pages and our archives with threat of shutting us down for Copyright Violations. While that makes us kinda want to put a Metadata link to his name and Allure Group on every single one of our pages, so that he and Allure will forever be synonymous with every ill, morally bankrupt and skewed activity referenced on these pages (particularly where healthcare facilities are concerned), we figured that would simply be unproductive. Instead, we are going to publish every article about Landau and Allure. We will publish every piece of information available. Just send it over. We hope that one day someone, more clever than him and his band of merry loophole-finders, figures out a way to make him pay for his reprehensible though remarkably clever behavior. He is another person who manipulates the lives of our most vulnerable citizens for ill-gotten gains. To Joel Landau and Shlomo Rechnitz – L’chaim…

http://therealdeal.com/2016/12/30/city-admits-it-doesnt-have-a-legal-case-against-allure-group-over-rivington-house/

City admits it doesn’t have a legal case against Allure Group over Rivington House

Mayor said law department can’t find “pathway” to seeking restitution from Joel Landau’s firm

The city’s hands may be tied when it comes to seeking restitution for the controversial sale of a Manhattan nursing home to a luxury condo developer.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who in April vowed to sue Allure Group for flipping the property at 45 Rivington Street, said Thursday that the city’s lawyers “cannot find an actual pathway” to restitution.

“I support anything that would get us further restitution for what happened,” the mayor said at a press conference, Politico reported. “I made very clear my anger at the way the private-sector firm handled things,” he said. However, “So far, our law department cannot find an actual pathway.”

Allure made $72 million when it sold 45 Rivington to Slate Property Group, after convincing the city to lift a deed restriction on the site. The de Blasio administration maintained that Allure did not tell the city it intended to sell the building to a developer while negotiations were taking place. But a report from the Department of Investigations found that reps for Allure told the city in March 2015 that if the deed weren’t lifted, it would consider a conversion of the property to luxury apartments.

Comptroller Scott Stringer also accused Allure of misleading City Hall, but mostly faulted the de Blasio administration for mishandling information at virtually every turn. Allure maintains it did nothing wrong.

The mayor has insisted he was not aware of the deal.

Allure, led by Joel Launda, has maintained it did not lie to the city, but earlier this month, the mayor signed a bill to increase oversight of deed restrictions.

Meanwhile, the city hired two law firms this year to represent it in the Rivington deal, and in campaign finance investigations. The contracts are for more than $10 million, Politico reported. [Politico]E.B. Solomont

“Shame on Shlomo” – Are Rechnitz’s Nursing Homes Safe?

Life and Death in Health Care’s Trenches

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/10/06/life-and-death-in-health-cares-trenches/

Is a nursing home a safe place? The question is not, is a nursing home a nice place? Not much room for argument there. Nursing home are not popular places. The question here, though, is it is a safe place?

It seems not, certainly not if the home is operated by Brius Healthcare, the largest chain of nursing homes in California, with 81 facilities statewide, and a handful in Nevada and Texas. This chain – increasingly the typical organizational form in the for profit nursing home industry – is owned by the southern California tycoon, Shomo Rechnitz; Brius controls 1 in 14 nursing home beds in California, an empire with facilities from San Diego to Eureka.

Rechnitz, who purchased his first nursing home in 2006, is called an entrepreneur and philanthropist by admirers; he is a supporter of Jewish and Israeli enterprises, but considers himself nondenominational; he also bankrolls right-wing California politicians. His business depends on funding from the government – Medicaid and Medicare. Rechnitz, a success story for many, a rising star in the ranks of West Coast billionaires, is now in trouble, as is his industry. Shlomo Rechnitz and Brius face charges from the media, the state Attorney General, the police, nursing home reformers, patient advocates and the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW).

The important new report, “California Nursing Home Chains By Ownership Type: Facility and Residential Characteristics, Staffing and Quality Outcomes in 2015,” written Leslie Ross and Charlene Harrington, UC San Francisco professors, while not focused on Brius, spells out the issues in great detail. More new information is also available from the California Association for Nursing Home Reform (CANHRA). The Sacramento Bee has an investigative report on nursing homes available on line and now NUHW has put up its own website, documenting Brius’ misdeeds and supporting its members own fight for decent contracts – BriusWatch.org.

The nursing home industry was transformed in the 1950s and 60’s, as small, non-profit providers were increasingly replaced by for-profit companies and these flourished through to the end of the century, fueled by revenues from Medicare and Medicaid. Since then, however, the industry has been in slow decline, despite the continuing aging of the population; still in 2015 there were 15,640 nursing homes in the US with 1.5 million residents. California has 1200 nursing homes located in 56 of its counties.

The shift to for-profit chains has taken place in this context; private owners now increasingly rely on consolidation – increasing market share – in place of actual growth; aggressive chain managements, Brius excels here, acquire failing facilities at bargain-basement prices often through bankruptcy proceedings. These facilities most often already have quality problems – problems which persist and often worsen under Brius.

Today, the deepening crises in mental health and homelessness present possible new clients, as well as, of course, new problems. The number of mentally ill and young residents living in California nursing homes has risen over the past number of years, creating a volatile population mix that produces safety and patient care challenges for traditional elderly nursing home residents and nursing home staff. According to the Sacramento Bee report, California for-profit nursing home owners admit acute-care and non-traditional residents which can yield as much as $800 per day for those with Medicare. Thus the chains have targeted services to post-acute care and rehabilitation – services that receive the highest Medicare reimbursement at the expense of long-stay residents.

Seventy-five percent of California nursing homes are now owned by chains. These chains have cut nursing levels and reduced support staff, and overseen an unmistakable decline in quality of care and life for clients, as well as the working conditions, wages and benefits of its employees.

Of all the areas with “serious quality problems” examined by Ross and Harrington, staffing is singled out; and the fact that California’s “Medicaid reimbursement rate methodology has only weak incentives to increase staffing and has very limited financial accountability standards and reporting requirements.” The result – “dangerously low staffing levels” are endemic in the industry.

They also note that all the evidence suggests that “high staffing levels, especially RN staff, have been associated with higher quality of care…”

Studies, including these, show, not surprisingly, that “facilities with the highest profit margins have been found to have the poorest quality” and, again not surprisingly, that “government and business interests have been supporting the for-profit nursing home industry that controls the long-term care field to the disadvantage of non-profit organizations and home-and community based services.”

Back to Brius. “What we’re seeing at the Brius locations is quite concerning,” says Molly Davies, administrator for Los Angeles’ Long-term Care Ombudsman Programs, the programs that investigate nursing home complaints. “We have seen patterns of poor care, patterns of substandard care in some of these facilities.

“The dangerously low staffing levels in many California nursing homes have resulted in many serious quality problems.” The result? Davies says that in far too many cases her staff has witnessed what can only be seen as a “flagrant disregard for human life.”

***

BriusWatch.org has gathered the evidence for us, the details in human lives. Here are examples, all shocking, all inexcusable:

In 2009, Rechnitz purchased an abandoned tuberculosis sanatorium in Fresno County, then converted it into a nursing home. In 2011, a state investigation found numerous health hazards at the aging facility. Surveyors cited bathrooms with standing water and toilets brimming with fecal matter; the poorly maintained sewage treatment system downhill from the home resulted in workers having to manually dispose of feces in garbage bags.

Inspectors also detailed a gastrointestinal illness that swept through the facility in September and October, sickening numerous residents and staff. One 75-year-old resident, who contracted salmonella during the outbreak while recuperating from a mastectomy, died in late September following a wound infection.

Inspectors found that staff lacked the training to properly change her dressing, and she was admitted to an acute care hospital with sepsis, a life-threatening blood infection, state documents show. Doctors discovered that a foam sponge used in the dressing had been left behind by staff and was growing into her skin; she died within a week. (Sacramento Bee, June 13, 2015)

***

In Montrose, CA, a 30-year-old paraplegic man living at the Brius’ Verdugo Valley Skilled Nursing and Wellness Centre died three months into his stay. In July of 2010, Armando Reagan had begun bleeding profusely and cried out to nursing home staff for help. Fifteen minutes later his sheets were soaked and a pool of blood had collected on the floor.

By the time paramedics arrived and transported him to a nearby hospital emergency room his breathing was labored and heartbeat rapid. He died there within an hour. The Los Angeles County coroner reported Reagan died from hemorrhagic shock due to chronic infections stemming from an old wound and from neglect by the nursing home.   (Kaiser Health News. October 27, 2014)

***

In Roseville, CA in 2012, 82-year-old Genine Zizzo entered Brius’ Roseville Point Health and Wellness Center in good health and only needing physical therapy after a fall at home. Ten days later, she was transferred to an acute-care hospital in a coma and later died of multiple organ failures. Her family alleges that the nursing home used anti-psychotic medicines as a form of chemical restraint, which led to her death.   (ABC Local News Sacramento, June 17, 2015.)

***

In November 2015, Courtney Cargill signed herself out of a suburban Los Angeles nursing home. and took off on foot.

Cargill scribbled her initials on the sign-out sheet at Brius’ South Pasadena Convalescent Hospital and declared her destination: “Library etc.”

Instead, Cargill – a 57-year-old resident known by nursing home staff to be suicidal and delusional – walked unsupervised to a nearby service station and bought a plastic jug and gallon of gas. She walked a quarter-mile to a second service station where, at 8:05 a.m., a surveillance camera recorded her heading to the back, stripping off her clothes, dousing her body with gasoline and lighting herself on fire.

She walked away, down the sidewalk and into a neighbor’s driveway. Cargill died at a Los Angeles hospital less than 24 hours later, with second- and third-degree burns over 90 percent of her body.

Prior to this, staff observed Courtney Cargill “having hallucinations, hearing voices and talking to herself;” nevertheless she requested and obtained an unsupervised pass to leave the nursing home for up to four hours a day.

“There is no evidence,” according to the family’s attorney, “that Courtney’s physician made a determination that Courtney was capable of safely being on an independent, unsupervised pass, as required by the facility’s policy…Instead of providing mental health services, defendants took money from Courtney to house her in a ‘room and board’ fashion, content to let her smoke cigarettes and watch TV all day.” (Pasadena Star, October, 8, 2015).

***

Five weeks after Geneva Hilton, 68, was admitted to Brius’ Centinela Skilled Nursing and Wellness Centre, West (Inglewood, CA), she was dead. According to CBS News in Los Angeles, Geneva Hilton entered the nursing home with clear lungs and in good health. Five weeks later, she was suffering from pneumonia, dehydration and a body temperature lower than 80 degrees.

During the investigation, a CBS reporter went undercover into the facility where he heard patients moaning aloud and his producer noticed the smell of human waste. Czersale Hilton, Geneva Hilton’s daughter, is suing the nursing home, alleging elder abuse and negligence. She joins a growing list of others suing Rechnitz and/or Brius over patient abuse and neglect. (CBS Local, Los Angeles CA, May 17, 2016.)

***

A Brius nursing home in South Pasadena ran afoul of the state partly because it recruited convicted felons, probationers, rapists and robbers as patients.

Instead of a median age of about 75 years old, residents at the former South Pasadena Convalescent Hospital had an average age of 37, Police Chief Arthur Miller said. He accused the former nursing home of sending recruiting teams to Los Angeles to get new patients.

“In that lower age population, there were convicted felons, probationers, drug users, rapists, robbers,” Miller said. “Traditionally police officers do not go to convalescent hospitals on a routine basis, especially to handle the crimes that I just described. … The staff at the time were not equipped for it. The hospital was not equipped for it, and it wasn’t licensed to do that type of rehabilitation.” The facility was closed. (Pasadena Star, October 20, 2015)

***

Between October 2015 and January 2015, three of Rechnitz’s facilities, including South Pasadena, were decertified by the federal government, an economic kiss of death that is extremely rare.

This punishment strips a nursing home of its crucial Medicare funding until it can demonstrate improvement, or is closed or sold. Since 2010, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has decertified only six out of more than 1,200 nursing homes in California.

Rechnitz controls his California nursing homes through a web of 130 companies. He has an ownership stake in many other companies, including a pharmaceutical company, two medical supply corporations, and a management services business.

This complex structure serves to conceal the nursing homes’ ownership and shield Brius, its owner, and its assets from lawsuits. Rechnitz’ 81 nursing homes and assisted living facilities operate under as many different names, and each is managed and owned by parent companies that also have different names.  This allows Brius to operate below the radar. The name Brius does not appear in the Department of Public Health’s database of licensed nursing homes. It also potentially allows Brius’ owner, Shlomo Rechnitz, to profit at multiple stages of his corporation’s convoluted healthcare delivery system.

***

I spoke with two Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) who work at Brius’ Novato Health Care Center in Marin County, a large facility with 180 beds.

Sue Journette, is a CNA; she’s worked for Brius for nine years. Ida Bantilan, also a CNA, has worked there for ten years. They both make the long commute to (very) upscale Novato from Vallejo, a North Bay city still recovering from the long recession of 2008. “There’s no question of living anywhere near here,” says Journette. As with many co-workers, they were born elsewhere, Journette in Thailand and Bantilan in the Philippines.

They both belong to the National Union of Healthcare Workers; both were active in NUHW’s recent successful organizing campaign at the Novato site.

They each explained economic issues in bargaining now underway. There had been no raises since 2011, though management had come up with 30 cents an hour, a bribe they thought. CNA’s started at about $14 an hour, they were making more, $16 and $17 an hour. It was “not nearly enough,” many co-workers work two jobs, often in two separate nursing homes.

“The housekeepers make less,” according to Bantilan. ‘and so do the janitors,” adds Journette, “and the laundry workers and kitchen staff, their work is hard”

The real issue for them, however, was staffing. Management reduced employees’ work shifts from eight hours to 7.5 hours with no reduction in the workload. This meant they each had responsibility for nine or ten, sometimes as many as twelve people. Bantilan explained: “I start their day. I get them up, shower them and clean them up, dress them, try to make them look nice and get them to breakfast. Many of these people are long term, many have dementia. They can be difficult.”

The new shift schedules also made the work harder, according to Journette. “When we come on, the last worker has already gone. We get no report, no sharing information, no explanation of what’s going on with the resident. No continuity.

“This work is not easy because so many of our people are sick, they are old, they are in bad moods, they are not feeling good, they miss their homes, their families. Many cannot walk…some have HIV…yes, the work is also dangerous, many injuries” I asked if they agreed with reports that this work was amongst the most dangerous of US occupations. They did, “It’s the lifting moving, pushing, pulling. Back stress.”

They came back to pay. Bantilan: “It is important. When you work two jobs, you’re tired. You’re in a bad mood before you begin. Then, no one wants these jobs, they can’t get replacements, so when someone doesn’t come in, you can be forced to do another shift.

“Sometimes when they do find replacements, it doesn’t work. They don’t offer training. Or maybe a day, or two days. We’ve all met someone new in the morning, only to learn later that they left in tears before lunch.”

Journette and Bantilan learned of the NUHW when they were told of the strike last year at the San Rafael facility. That’s also when they learned that they were all employed by Brius.

***

The National Union of Heathcare Workers is a new California union, born in the wreckage of SEIU’s trusteeship of its California local United Healthcare workers in 2009. It has grown dramatically since then, now to 12,000 members, mostly hospital workers. This includes 1,000 new members in the last six months alone, the result of victories including at Kindred’s Bay Area Hospital, the Oakland Children’s Hospital and Tenet’s Fountain Valley Hospital & Medical Center, Orange County’s largest for-profit hospital.

NUHW prides itself in being worker-led, democratic and militant – and in not being afraid to take on employers, whatever the size, in California several of the country’s largest hospital corporations (Kaiser, Tenet, Dignity, Kaiser, Sutter). NUHW sees its origins in the long history of trade unions; its own roots are in the drive for industrial unionism in San Francisco in the 1930s.

It also prides itself as being not just for its members but also an advocate of patients and the public. It has from its beginning supported free, universal healthcare. It’s less than a year now since NUHW therapists and social workers won their hallmark victory at Kaiser, winning a contract that featured fundamental advances in mental health care, above all in staffing.

Sal Rosselli, the President of NUHW, sees its long-term goal as an industrial union of healthcare workers, all healthcare workers in one union, even as its priority now is hospitals.

NUHW staff readily admit that organizing nursing homes is difficult: the work units tend to be small, turnover is high, employers are for the most part fiercely hostile to unions. Still workers want unions, all investigations report this. “So what can we do.” asks Rosselli, “when workers come to us? We can’t turn them down.”

It’s informative here to recall that nursing home and home care workers were important in the 2008/9 dispute that wrecked United Healthcare Workers (UHW-SEIU), then 150,000 strong. Today, SEIU-UHW is half its former size, it is factionalized and scandal-ridden: long-term workers have been shifted out to another local and nursing home workers have been abandoned altogether.

Until, trusteeship, UHW policy had been “Stronger Together,” a strategy based on uniting healthcare workers and using the power of the best organized to support the interests of the least.

In 2008, however, the national SEIU leadership wanted long term care workers organized separately, isolated from the unions far more powerful hospital workers. At the same time, they proposed an “organizing strategy” they called “The Alliance.” This would ally the union with nursing home management (yes, people like Rechnitz) – the purpose to lobby Sacramento for increased Medicaid funding for the industry. In return, the employers would give SEIU “neutrality,” that is, a “free” hand in organizing – but (the catch) only when and where the employers agreed. The Alliance would also sanction secret negotiations, long term contracts (one contemporary SEIU contract in Washington State was for ten years), no right to picket, no right to strike.

There was another component, worth mentioning. The agreement would oblige the union to press for tort reform that would limit the patient’s rights to sue nursing homes, even in cases of neglect, abuse and death, an issue of the greatest importance to nursing home management, as we have here seen.

One last point: The Alliance mandated the union to oppose patient advocates’ demands for staffing minimums (and any legislation relating to the nursing homes without industry approval).

The Alliance meant, in no uncertain terms, willfully disregarding the crisis in staffing that existed then and continues, all the worse, to this day. It also meant no free speech for caregivers, the “gag rule” and specifically it meant nursing home workers could not advocate for patients – patients who often had literally no one else in their lives.

The recent Sanders campaign revealed for all the massive support that exists today for “real” health care reform – for universal coverage based on need, not on ability to pay and not for profit. The American nursing home industry is, perhaps, the extreme example of our healthcare system in crisis, and of everything that’s wrong with it.

These “homes” are 21st century sweatshops for the millions who staff them, they are “homes” which are not homes; it is an industry that warehouses and isolates our most vulnerable and removes them from sight– and for a profit.

“We love our patients, we would not do this work if we didn’t,” Journette and Bantilan agree, emphatically. “We need the union because we need rights to do our work right; so the residents, they rely on us, they so often have no one else. They need the union, too.”

***

And on it goes…now Humboldt County.

On September 8, the residents of the Eureka Rehabilitation and Wellness Facility… [were told] why that facility and two others locally may be shutting down, forcing almost 200 patients into an uncertain future, and possibly into care hundreds of miles away.

The potential closure of the facilities — Eureka, Seaview and Pacific Rehabilitation and Wellness — would cut the number of local skilled nursing beds by more than half and came as a surprise to many patients and caregivers. The management company for all five of Humboldt’s major facilities — Rockport Healthcare Company [Bris] – did not notify patients before the information leaked to local media in late July. (North Coast Journal, Sept. 15, 2016)

NUMW members at St Joseph’s Health have joined the movement to keep these facilities open.

To read the article in its entirety click here.