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Union demands probe of W.Va. Veterans Nursing Home

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 2, 2013 at 1:12 pm •  Published: May 2, 2013

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — A state workers' union wants Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to investigate staff shortages at the West Virginia Veterans Nursing Home and alleged retaliation against a patient who publicly spoke about the quality of care.

UE Local 170, West Virginia Public Workers Union, represents about 25 employees at the Clarksburg home. It said Thursday it's also sent letters to legislative leaders, demanding action.

UE stands for United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers. The local represents more than 1,000 state employees at hospitals, the Division of Highways, the Department of Health and Human Resources and other agencies.

The union said nursing home staff have repeatedly complained about mandatory overtime and staffing, but Administrator Kevin Crickard has failed to address them.

Neither a Tomblin spokeswoman nor Crickard immediately responded.

Donna Morgan, president of the local union, said employees are routinely forced to work 16-hour days, which is exhausting and unfair to them, and also compromises patient care.

"I'm not saying anybody's being mistreated," Morgan said. "But if you have two aides taking care of 30 patients, and another patient rings a bell, you can't just drop what you're doing and answer it."

So far, no one has been seriously injured, but Morgan said employees worry about the possibility.

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