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‘They Call Me a Criminal’: Nursing Home Workers Who May Spread the Virus – The New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/10/us/virus-florida-nursing-homes-contract-workers.html

Mr. Vertu, 33, the dietary aide, said he makes money about $9.80 an hour, an income he says has remained approximately the same given that he began working 14 years ago. Ms. Julceus, who is a qualified nurse, makes about $12 an hour.
Sheryl Carlos, 56, works 3 jobs 7 days a week in Port St. Lucie, north of West Palm Beach. One is at a nursing house and another at a retirement home; she makes additional income taking care of a couple of people in personal homes. She makes about $13 an hour.
” Let me inform you something, I do not have a life,” she stated just recently as she drove back home in the morning after completing a nine-hour shift. “If some jobs were paying you enough, you would not have to be working like that.”
Retirement home supporters say that most centers have little control over what other tasks staff have. It is tough to raise earnings, they say, when profits is fixed by the state or Medicare.
” There are truly excellent owners out there who do a great job and attempt to pay people more,” stated Dr. Alice Bonner, who encourages on care of older adults at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
” But if youre getting mainly Medicaid clients in your assisted living home, and youre getting extremely little money for those customers, and its not covering your expenses, then its actually tough to increase incomes and benefits too.”
In May and early June, one of Mr. Vertu and Ms. Julceuss companies, Avante at Lake Worth Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing, fired them on the grounds that they had violated policy by concerning work even though they had the coronavirus, according to the staff members and their union, which has submitted grievances over the dismissals.