Speaking at the Labor and Management Project (LMP)’s final workplace violence conference in July, Daine Williams, assistant director of 1199SEIU’s Nursing Home Division and co-chair of the New Directions and Innovations Committee (NDIC), praised the collaborative efforts of labor and management to eliminate violence in nursing homes. “When we work together as labor and management with the wonderful folks at the LMP, great things can happen,” he said. The following month, LMP staff and labor and management representatives from nursing homes in New York partnered with Connecticut to lead a workshop entitled “Eliminating Workplace Violence in Nursing Homes: Experiences of Two Coalitions in Connecticut and New York City” at the annual Pioneer Network conference.
The LMP’s July conference, titled “The Finale: Advanced Practice in Managing Behaviors,” was the culmination of an 18-month LMP and NDIC collaboration. A partnership between labor and management in six New York City nursing homes, the collaborative educated nursing home staff about effective ways of minimizing and responding to instances of workplace violence in their facilities. Participating homes included Bronx Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare, Citadel Rehabilitation & Nursing Center at Kingsbridge, Terrace Healthcare Center, Laconia Nursing Home, Crown Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and Kings Harbor Multicare Center.
Since the collaborative launched in September 2014, the LMP held seven conferences, covering topics such as workplace violence policies, behavior management best practices, preparing for active shooter situations, and staff-to-staff violence. Additionally, each participating nursing home created a labor-management committee to lead and oversee its site work. All six homes have developed, or are currently developing, policies and procedures to provide guidance to staff on how to prevent or handle violence in their facility.
At the Pioneer Network Conference workshop, representatives from Kings Harbor Multicare Center in the Bronx told conference attendees how their committee successfully developed user-friendly and practice-focused workplace violence policies and procedures, educated 750 staff about these policies and procedures, and initiated safety drills with staff. These efforts, they said, have fostered a culture at Kings Harbor that promotes the idea that everyone has the right to work, live and visit in a safe environment. Moreover, staff members support each other when safety is in question. “I feel safer than I ever have,” said Maxine Hall, Director of Nursing at Kings Harbor’s Manor House. “We are all looking out for each other now.”
At the LMP Finale conference in July, Bill Pascocello, Trustee of the 1199 Greater New York Worker Participation Fund and co-chair of the NDIC, encouraged collaborative participants to think of the 18-month workplace violence collaborative as a springboard for continued work. “This is the beginning, not the end,” he said. With that goal in mind, each home identified three new objectives to continue to work towards, thus sealing their commitment to eliminating violence in their facility.