“Pay up:” Former Wellspring employees demand paychecks after nursing home closed suddenly
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) - About a dozen nurses and CNA’s protested outside Wellspring Rehabilitation and Nursing home in Milwaukee.
The doors are closed and the residents are gone.
“I couldn’t say goodbye the proper way. We just had to say you got to go,” Aqwan Jackson, nurse.
A sign out front says that staff checks would be mailed as soon as they are processed but that hasn’t happened yet.
“He needs to pay up he needs to stop ducking and dodging the 160 employees that deserve to be paid,” said Donte White, nurse.
The executive director said it was closing because of “catastrophic unforeseeable business circumstances.” Staff and families thought they had until April 12th but last week they were given less than 72 hours notice to leave on February 28.
Families scrambled to get their loved ones.
“To me, they did this the wrong way, to me they treated the people like cattle,” said Jackson.
Workers were not only worried about their jobs; they were concerned about their patients.
“They didn’t pay us, I was here until the end, we were here to the end,” said Alicia Jackson, former CNA.
CBS 58 reached out to the CEO but has not heard back.
SEIUHCWI released this statement:
Wellsprings closed emergently February 28, 2019, evacuating the last 60 clients and forcing the employees out of work.
Some employee checks bounced from their last checks on February 15th and have still not been resolved. SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL HEALTHCARE WISCONSIN is assisting our represented staff in their wage claims. Employee health Insurance premiums have not been paid by the employer since December 2018.
The CRISIS IN CARE is the result of failed Medicaid reimbursement policies of the Walker administration and the Republican-controlled Legislature. Nursing Homes with higher numbers of Medicaid clients report losing $70-$100/day and until recently balanced this revenue loss with Medicare dollars for Rehabilitation Care. Changes to this formula and "business issues" allegedly forced this facility to close.
The wages for direct care workers on the front line are not competitive or family sustaining.
Our FRAGILE clients in need of care have been failed by the healthcare funding in WISCONSIN.
It's past time for emergency action in the Legislature- THERE IS A CRISIS IN CARE!
ANN LOUISE TETREAULT RN
VICE PRESIDENT SEIUHCWI