Nursing home workers continue to wait for raises - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Nursing home workers continue to wait for raises

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Valerie Manor in Torrington (WFSB) Valerie Manor in Torrington (WFSB)

Nursing home workers in Torrington want to know where their money is, after they were promised a raise more than a year ago.

Lawmakers planned for a $39 million increase for nursing home wages, but there have been a few snags.

One nursing home worker at Valerie Manor in Torrington spoke with Eyewitness News, saying he makes $12.69 an hour.

He didn’t want to be identified for fear of being fired, but said he got his raise of $0.70 an hour, but not his retro pay that goes back to last summer, which is an amount he expects to be more than $1,000.

"I don't think its fair, it’s sad. Compared to fast food and retail workers, some are making double,” the worker said.

In order to avoid a strike last year, lawmakers approved $39 million for about 230 nursing homes to be used for higher wages. But it has taken months for the money to be distributed.

Even though the money was allocated well over a year ago, there were a few delays.

One of the issues was that too much money was being given to union nursing homes.

Lawmakers say most nursing homes should have the money now, but there are safeguards in place to make sure the money goes where it's supposed to.

State Rep. Catherine Abercrombie said "DSS, or the Department of Social Services, has to audit every nursing home to make sure they give the money out.”

Eyewitness News reached out to management at Valerie Manor, as well as Athena Health Care, the parent company which owns 18 nursing homes in Connecticut, and more than a dozen in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

In a written statement they said, "Athena is currently in the process of finalizing and distributing any retro earnings to employees in the very near future."

However DSS said "staff at the facility may want to check with their management if they are not seeing retroactive increases, since the facility has had extra dollars for this purpose since the end of July.”

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