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AUDUBON VILLA EXPRESSES OPTIMISM OVER CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS

 ZELIENOPLE, Pa., Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Owners and management of Audubon Villa today expressed optimism that negotiations underway at the Lititz, Pa., facility could be speeded by a settlement reached earlier this week at a sister facility.
 The Evergreen Nursing Center in Butler County, Pa., was one of 45 nursing homes statewide that are scheduled to be struck by members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) on Feb. 8.
 Union and company negotiators reached a settlement at Evergreen on Tuesday, Jan. 26. A ratification vote by its employees is scheduled for early next week.
 "We have never had a strike at the Evergreen Nursing Center," said Frank Hayman, one of the center's general partners. "We will use the Evergreen agreement as the basis for negotiations at our other homes -- Praxas in Easton, Pa., and Audubon Villa in Lititz -- which are still scheduled to be struck in February. The settlement continues the spirit of labor-management cooperation we have enjoyed at Evergreen for the past 20 years."
 In an aggressive campaign directed at nursing homes statewide, the SEIU is scheduled to simultaneously strike 45 similar facilities on Feb. 8. The Evergreen agreement is the first negotiated settlement involving the targeted facilities. The new contract calls for increased wages, improved health insurance and the creation of a 401K pension plan. The creation of a pension plan had threatened to be one of the major stumbling blocks in negotiations at Evergreen and the other facilities that will be struck by the SEIU.
 Ed Grystar, the SEIU's chief negotiator, described the agreement as "unprecedented."
 "If the other homes can reach settlements at the same (level) as we have, then they will have achieved their goal," Grystar said, regarding the pension plan and the new contract.
 "The 401K plan allows our employees to control their investment while building a secure base for their retirements," Hayman added. "The union negotiating team and our employees have demonstrated their desire to avert a strike that could inconvenience our residents."
 "Going into the negotiations there was a clear indication that the talks were going to pivot on the pension plan issue," said Tom King, Hayman's chief negotiator. "I don't think there is any question that had the union not been willing to talk about alternate pension proposals, the resulting impasse could have crippled the negotiations."
 -0- 1/29/93
 /CONTACT: Chuck Morse, director of public relations of Audubon Villa, 412-921-7577/


CO: Audubon Villa; Evergreen Nursing Center; Service Employees
 International Union ST: Pennsylvania IN: HEA SU: CON


CD-MK -- PG005 -- 0943 01/29/93 16:47 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 29, 1993
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