President Barack Obama’s recent executive order increasing the minimum wage for new federal contract workers is forcing a group of military veterans in Louisiana from their nursing home, KTBS-TV reported.
The executive order, which increased the rate for new federal contract workers to $10.10 from $7.25 an hour, means that nursing homes with contracts for subsidized care through the Veterans Administration now “become federal contractors,” the report added.
So if a hospital refuses to increase its wage rate, the contracts are cancelled, said Sandy Franks, a spokesperson for Overton Brooks V. A. Medical Center, which is located in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Veterans at the nursing home in Shreveport reacted to the news.
“We fought all your wars, and now we’re broke. Where do we go from here?” asked A.J. Crain, a retired U.S. Marine.
Another veteran, John Washington, added: “We gotta go. Simple as that. We gotta go.”
“I think it’s very wrong. I think it’s very distasteful,” Washington added, referring to the contracts expiring. “I mean some of these people here work their backsides off to keep this place going,” he said, pointing to a woman changing his bed.
Gamble Guest Care, which owns Shreveport Manor, explained in a statement its refusal to increase wage rates: “The additional labor expenses are simply unaffordable. As such, many long term care providers have indicated that they will no longer seek or renew V.A. contracts.”
Franks added that the minimum wage executive order has the potential to cause trouble nationwide as more VA contracts are set to expire.
“We will deal with it on a case by case basis,” Franks said. “We will work the families and try to provide the most convenient, and the nursing homes that are up to our standards to take care of our veterans.”
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