• Seniors call rate hikes at Tacoma assisted living facility 'unethical'

    By: David Ham

    Updated:

    TACOMA, Wash. - Rolf Gruden said he was taken aback when he saw the letter his mother-in-law received at her assisted living facility, Narrows Glen, in Tacoma.

     The letter from executive director, Jan Wieder said, "As most of you are aware, several municipalities in the area are moving toward a $15 minimum wage increase in the near future. Narrows Glen feels this increase is necessary to maintain and attract quality staff."

     Only Tacoma city officials say that a proposal for a $15 minimum wage isn't even in the works.

     "You can't tell somebody we don’t know if this law is going to pass but we're going to charge you for it just in case it does pass. that doesn't make sense to me," said Gruden.

     He said his 91-year-old mother-in-law will pay about $300 more a month.

     "It's unfair to the elderly people what they're doing," Gruden added, "They've got these people, in my opinion over a barrel."

     "None of them should be subjected to something that isn't ethical," said Ginny Gruden.

     We went to ask Wieder why the rates are going up even when the minimum wage is not going up to $15 an hour.

     She would not comment, and she would not say if employees would get raises.

     Wieder later emailed a statement saying, "Increasing benefit costs affect all companies today including Narrows Glen.  Because it has been well over a year since we last adjusted our care fees, a modest increase was recently implemented so that we can continue to hire and retain the quality care staff our residents depend on.  The care of our residents is our primary concern at Narrows Glen.  They expect and deserve quality care and services at all times, and we will continue to serve them, their families, and our staff accordingly."

     We asked again what a non-existent $15-an-hour minimum wage has to do with the rate increases.

     She said "no comment."

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