Mental health workers employed by Sound Community Services are on strike 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.
A separate strike deadline by union mental health workers is scheduled 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.
These limited three-day strikes by mental health workers at Sound and Gilead are separate from the indefinite nursing home strike by union workers ongoing at Windsor Health and Rehabilitation.
Media Contact: Pedro Zayas, firstname.lastname@example.org, 860-830-2478
District 1199, SEIU, New England Health Care Employees Union