Workers who care for the disabled vote to postpone strike so legislators can approve increased funding
Workers who care for the disabled in privatized group homes, day programs and other services for the disabled were set to strike April 18th. Funding for private agencies comes from the state and for twelve years the funding to this sector has been flat. This has caused low wages, high turnover and lack of affordable health care for workers. Starting rates at the facilities currently range from $12/hr-$14/hr. Workers were planning to go on strike at 9 group home agencies at 250 locations across Connecticut.
Governor Malloy sent a letter on April 4th asking members to postpone their April 18th strike in order to give legislators time to increase funding for their services and provide the needed wage enhancements.
On April 5th workers voted to postpone the strike as the Governor request. Workers will meet again April 25th to assess what legislative progress has been made.
“We have received a request from the Governor’s office to postpoes and Ine our impending strike. We appreciate the outreach of his office and discussed the request with our members,” said Jennifer Schneider SEIU 1199 spokeswoman. “While our members remain committed to fighting for proper funding for their services they have agreed to postpone the strike. It is our hope that the Governor and legislators take this opportunity to make it a top priority to provide proper funding for these services that will allow fair wages for workers and quality care for people with disabilities.”
9 Agencies workers planned to strike:
- Oak Hill
- Journey Found
- Alternative Services (ASI)
- New Seasons
- New England Residential Services (NERS)
- Whole Life
SEIU 1199 represents 28,000 health care workers in Connecticut and Rhode Island.
“Our delegates and I are encouraged by the progress that the Governor stated has been made, but we must keep up the pressure; we need to keep our organization strong and build and expand it further.”
“Many important decisions will be made by legislators over the next few weeks and until the legislative session ends the first week of May on our issues and many issues facing our communities. That is why it is important for us to keep contacting our legislators and lobbying at the Capitol. We have an important lobby day scheduled for April 18th and your participation is vital. “