Group home, day program workers strike for better pay

Caregiver strike held in Hartford
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 6:06 AM EDT|Updated: May. 24, 2023 at 12:54 PM EDT
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Connecticut caregivers said they were poised for an indefinite strike that started on Wednesday morning.

Group home and day program caregivers planned a news conference at noon after 1,700 SEIU 1199 New England members formed the picket line in Hartford.

Strike notices were delivered to multiple agencies including Oak Hill, Mosaic, Whole Life, Network, Caring Community, and Alternative Services, Inc.

Union officials said they required $400 million in additional Medicaid funding to lift workers out of poverty with a pathway to $25 an hour minimum wage, access to affordable healthcare, and a pension that allows workers to retire after decades of service.

Union group home workers who went on strike included direct support and direct care staff, dietary workers, maintenance staff, program aides, job coaches, assistant managers, assistant program coordinators, residential day program workers, assistant teachers, behavior paraprofessionals, and some licensed practical nurses.

Many of those workers treat people with both intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Staffing issues put more stress on those caregivers.

“When they’re supposed to get off at 3 p.m., they’re not getting off at 3 because there’s nobody to come in an relieve them,” explained Amanda Bishop, Caring Community, Norwich.

Temporary staff has been going through training in the interim.

The strike kicked off at 6 a.m. on Wednesday.

Caregivers are fed up with poverty line wages and are demanding more pay.
Connecticut caregivers are poised to begin an indefinite strike Wednesday morning.