With a new contract in hand, a threatened strike by nursing home workers in Connecticut has been called off for a second time.SEIU 1199 New England, the union representing more than a thousand caregivers at 20 facilities, including Autumn Lake Healthcare in Norwalk, said it has agreed to a new contract through 2021. The agreement is subject to the approval of a funding increase that is part of the state budget now under discussion in Hartford.
Details of the contract were not immediately available, but presumably include the hikes proposed earlier this month by Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration. That proposal offered nursing homes that serve Medicaid patients a 2% rate wage increase in July 2019, a 1% bump in October 2020 and a 1% raise in January 2021. Not included in Lamont’s original budget, the funds would be in addition to a scheduled 2% raise in November.
Originally the workers threatened a May 1 strike to protest not having received an increase in their salaries in 2016 and 2017; that was called off when Lamont’s administration indicated it was willing to negotiate. Deciding that sufficient progress wasn’t being made, the workers then set a June 3 strike deadline.
“This is a major victory for our union members who are truly deserving of these wage raises and improved benefits,” Rob Baril, president of SEIU 1199 New England, said in a press release. “We feel proud of this achievement, and we are confident that we’ll be able to settle all pending contracts for our members in the near future.”