On Tuesday, April 19th from 3:45 to 5:15 PM, union mental health workers employed by Sound Community Services held an information picket in demand of increased wages, access to benefits, and improved staffing conditions that will allow them to provide quality care, while protecting themselves and their families.
This information picket is in anticipation of a strike deadline set for Sunday, April 24th at 6:00AM at Sound’s main office in New London. A separate strike deadline was set by union mental health workers at Gilead Community Services in Middletown, starting on May 5th at 6:00 AM. Both strikes will be limited to three days.
Mental healthcare providers at Sound and Gilead perform lifesaving work. But dangerous staffing shortages and unacceptably low wages are pushing these essential services to the brink.
“Over the last several decades, state leaders have outsourced public mental health work to nonprofits like Gilead and Sound with the pretext of cutting costs. These services rely on state funding, which has been stagnant for years. We have reached a point where we do not have sufficient resources to run these programs and support staff,” said Rob Baril. “Cutting corners is not the way to improving mental health services and care for hundreds of vulnerable Black, brown and white people in our communities.”
Mental healthcare providers are also calling on the state to approve an 8% increase in funding for the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to help fund their demands for fair wages, benefits, and safe staffing.
What: Information picket in anticipation of Sunday’s pending strike deadline
When: Tuesday, April 19th, from 3:45 to 5:15 PM
Where: Sound Community Services – 21 Montauk Avenue, New London
Who: SEIU District 1199 New England union mental health workers, union leaders and community partners
Media Contact: Pedro Zayas, firstname.lastname@example.org, 860-830-2478
District 1199, SEIU, New England Health Care Employees Union