Connecticut is failing to adequately staff and fund public health facilities amidst a growing public health crisis. Now, a surge in retirements threatens to shutter the lifesaving state services our communities rely on to survive.
As of April 21, 2022, there are:
- 2,216 total vacancies across state healthcare agencies
- 1,137 retirements in April 2022, compared to 337 in April of 2021
- That’s a 781% increase in retirements over 10 years
- 1,600 additional state healthcare employees eligible to retire in 2022
- The state allowed the healthcare workforce to shrink by 44% over the past 2 years, by failing to fill open positions
Services are already being reduced, and in some cases facilities are being shut down, as the workforce tries to keep up with demand while severely understaffed. This is impacting Connecticut residents – including children – who are most in need of publicly funded care.
- As of April 21, 2022, there are 919 vacancies in the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS).
- Meanwhile, demand for mental healthcare is skyrocketing. Mental health call requests to 211 increased 20% in the first 21 months of the pandemic alone.
- Addiction Services in DMHAS are currently running at only 40% capacity due to the 350 vacant positions at Connecticut Valley Hospital.
- Solnit South, of the Department of Children and Families, is running only at half capacity and many of the children who would otherwise receive specialized care at Solnit are waiting in desperation for services while sitting in emergency rooms.
A new report shows how powerful state jobs are in advancing racial equity in Connecticut. Black and brown workers in the public sector are more likely to achieve middle class status, earning livable wages that can support families. The data reveals how the state’s failure to staff vacant positions harms Black and brown communities by removing critical economic opportunities for family-sustaining jobs.
- Black and brown workers make up 43% of the public health workforce in Connecticut.
- Black and brown workers who hold jobs in the public sector are more likely to be making similar salaries for similar work as their white peers than those employed in the private sector.
- In the public sector, Black workers make 94.4% as much as their white peers. In the private sector, it’s just 66.7%.
- While any inequity is unacceptable, the reduction of state jobs in Connecticut is widening the racial pay discrepancy and setting back Black and brown communities.
Connecticut state healthcare workers with SEIU 1199NE are demanding that Governor Ned Lamont and legislators make strong commitments to Expand Services and Save Lives. They are calling on Gov. Lamont and state legislators to:
- Publicly commit to filling all 2,216 vacancies and prepare to fill up to 1,600 additional vacancies stemming from retirements.
- This means filling 1,000 positions by August 1, 2022, and 1,500 positions by October 1, 2022.
|Department||Current vacancy rate||Eligible upcoming retirements in 2022||Potential vacancy rate in 2023|
|Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS)||29%||409||38%|
|Department of Development Services (DDS)||28%||605||40%|
|Department of Children and Families (DCF)||17%||76||27%|
|Total across all Departments||25%||1596||35%|
*Retirement data per Comptroller’s report
**Vacancy data per individual Department reporting
For more information, contact: 1199NE@berlinrosen.com