Windsor nursing home workers hit the picket line Friday
WINDSOR, CT (WFSB) - Some nursing home workers went on strike because their union could not reach a new deal with their facility.
Workers from the Windsor Health and Rehab Center hit the picket line at 6 a.m. on Friday.
Union representatives claimed the owner of the facility made $1.7 million in profits last year. They’d been preparing to strike for the last few weeks.
The union said certified nursing assistants make $15 an hour and other employees make $14 an hour. It wants those wages up to $20. It also wants affordable healthcare.
A certified nursing assistant told Channel 3 that must change right away; however, the owner of the facility said on Friday morning that patient care is the facility’s priority.
“It would not have been my choice to be here today. To be, you know, defending [myself to] a strike,” said Lara Alatise, owner, Windsor Health and Rehab Center. “But it is what it is. The staff has a right to strike. We have a right to take care of our patients.”
Alatise said she offered workers up to a 13 percent wage increase; however, she said it was based on years of experience.
Union workers said they want everyone’s base salary raised.
“It’s hard! It’s wrong! And it’s tough!” said Yvonne Foster, CNA, Windsor Health and Rehab Center. “This is a difficult job and we’re not going to continue to do with this.”
Foster said she’s been at the facility for more than 20 years.
“I know the pay don’t match my experience, and that’s why I’m here today,” she said. “I know other facilities with the years and experience I have. They’re getting over $20 an hour.”
Alatise said 18 CNAs showed up for work on Friday morning. Replacement workers were there to make sure patients received care. The facility has 100 staff members on its payroll.
Along with the union strike, the facility is also dealing with claims that they were making some employees work for free.
Employees say new hires who are unlicensed CNAs were required to work for free in exchange for education.
Employees say the union filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board.
“They’re put on the floor no training, no classes. Put on the floor for patient care and they weren’t paid,” said Mikayla Simpson.
The owner of the facility denied those claims. She says she’s hoping the union can reach an agreement soon.
Four other Hartford-area nursing homes reached tentative deals this week.
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