Staff at other Blupoint Healthcare facilities claim similar pay issues

SOUTH HADLEY, MA (WGGB/WSHM) – Staff at a local nursing home and rehabilitation center claim they haven’t been paid in weeks and, for months, they’ve been forced to cash bounced checks. Since our story aired Monday night, we’ve received numerous calls and emails from employees of other facilities across the state that are also owned by Blupoint Healthcare who claim they have been dealing with the same hardships as the staff we spoke to at Pioneer Valley Rehabilitation Center in South Hadley.

We’ve had several staff members leave over the last week or two due to this, which is causing a bigger crisis, and it’s causing nursing and CAN and staff burnout on the rest of us,” said Sue Bonfitto, a nurse at Pioneer Valley Rehabilitation Center.

We could all just leave and go get another job, but we don’t want to abandon our patients. We want to make this come out and find out what the problem is, why we’re not getting paid, why the vendors haven’t paid, why we continue to have no supplies or scant supplies. We need answers,” added Christine MacLure, a nurse at Pioneer Valley Rehabilitation Center.

MacLure and Bonfitto spoke with Western Mass News on Monday as they were outside of the nursing home picketing after they said they’ve gone four weeks without pay, on top of dealing with five months of bounced checks and unfair working conditions. They claim the vendors are also not getting paid and a ripple effect has left them understaffed and undersupplied.

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office told Western Mass News that they have received complaints from staff at the facility, but it’s turns out that the South Hadley location may not be the only facility owned by Blupoint Healthcare that is experiencing these issues. We’ve received several complaints from staff at other nursing homes across the state who have made similar claims. We spoke anonymously with one employee from Milltown Health and Rehabilitation in Amesbury. They told us the staff there are also facing severe financial hardships.

Employees are not getting paid. We’ve been getting, I mean, checks have been pretty much bouncing since I would say March. Our direct deposit stopped. We’ve been getting paper checks and a lot of times, we’re getting the paper checks late. Our pay day is Friday, so we get them late in the day and when people go to the bank, they are not getting cashed. The banks are telling us they can’t cash it. There’s no money in the account,” the Milltown Health and Rehabilitation employee explained.

Closer to home in South Hadley, on Monday, while employees stood outside of Pioneer Valley Rehabilitation Center demanding answers and the money they said is owned to them, the owners of Blupoint met with administrators inside. MacLure told us that, after that meeting, employees were told that the company was in the middle of a refinance and they assured the staff that the funds will be there when their next paychecks are issued. However, MacLure said the Blupoint owners could not say when they would be able to resume direct deposit and MacLure said they are still left anxious about what will happen next.

We want to be able to take care of our patients and we’re fearful for them because the staffing is not there. We’re already understaffed as it is. We don’t have proper supplies to take care of our patients,” MacLure noted.

Western Mass News did reach out to Blupoint several times both Monday and Tuesday and have not yet heard back.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health told us they are aware of complaints about the payment issues at Pioneer Valley Health and Rehabilitation, but they cannot comment on open investigations. We also asked if they were aware of complaints regarding other Blupoint facilities, but we have not yet gotten a response.

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