Nursing home caregivers represented by the New England Health Care Employees Union,District 1199 SEIU, voted in favor of a new strike deadline in 20 facilities, effective June 3rd.
Workers are demanding additional funding in the state budget to cover wage raises industry-wide for the next two years. With expired contracts for the past two years, these caregivers did not receive an increase in their salaries in 2016 and 2017. They received a 2% raise in 2018 amounting to roughly 30 cents for most workers, but would not receive raises in 2019 and 2020 if the current state budget proposal is approved.
“More than 2,500 nursing home caregivers will be forced to walk out of their jobs until proper funding is provided to raise their take-home pay,” said Rob Baril, president of SEIU 1199 New England. “This is a last resort for workers who care dearly about the residents and patients they serve every day. Some of our members are making as little as $10.93 per hour, or just 83 cents above the bare minimum wage. This is totally unacceptable in a wealthy state like Connecticut.”
Five more nursing homes with 600-plus workers may be joining the strike once their voting process has concluded. More information on these nursing homes will provided later.
Gov. Ned Lamont’s initial budget proposal to the legislature did not include additional funding for nursing homes workers, and the General Assembly has not responded accordingly to our Union’s demands.
“We pray for immediate action from our elected officials to fund wage increases for nursing home workers. We had no raise in 2016. No raise in 2017. A 27-cent raise for me in 2018. And no raise coming our way in 2019 and 2020,” said Careene Reid, a certified nursing assistant at Trinity Hill Care Center. “We demand the required funding from our state leaders. Our caregivers, as well as our patients and residents, and their families deserve better. But now we know we’ll have to fight in Union to get the modest raises that we ask for.”
Upon receiving an encouraging letter two weeks ago from Gov. Lamont asking for room to negotiate, workers withdrew the previous notice of intent to strike sent to Connecticut nursing homes, which was effective on May 1st. The National Labor Relations Act requires labor unions to give health care employers a minimum notice of 10 days before going on strike.
SEIU 1199 Union members have a long history of success fighting for health care workers’ rights and quality services for people in need. We advocate for living wages for all workers -black, brown and white- and adequate resources to do our jobs well. The Union represents 26,000 health care workers in Connecticut. Some 7,000 members are nursing home workers classified as registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants, maintenance, receptionists, recreation and dietary staff.
***20 NURSING HOMES AFFECTED***
– 9 ICare facilities –
– 4 Autumn facilities –
- – 2 National facilities –
Bloomfield Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation
MapleView Health & Rehabilitation Center
- – Plus these 5 facilities –
Windsor Health and Rehabilitation Center
Advanced Center Nursing & Rehabilitation
West Hartford Health & Rehabilitation Center