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May 3, 2021

Union sends strike warning to 33 CT nursing homes

Photo | SEIU SEIU District 1199 President Rob Baril speaks to the crowd during a rally outside of the governor's mansion in Hartford.

A labor union representing nurses, certified nursing assistants and other healthcare workers says it has notified 33 nursing homes in Connecticut of plans for a strike on May 14.

In a statement released Friday, officials with District 1199 of the Service Employees International Union said more than 3,400 employees are prepared to walk off the job in protest of low wages and short-staffing practices implemented by facility operators.

“Connecticut’s long-term care system relies on poverty wages,” said District 1199 President Rob Baril. “By going on strike, we are telling nursing home operators and the state of Connecticut that we are not willing to carry the yoke of poverty any longer. It’s time for nursing home bosses and state leaders to pay these workers what they deserve.”

Union officials said more nurses and health care employees are expected to join the mass work stoppage as more unionized care facilities conduct strike votes.

While District 1199 did not name the facilities being targeted, the chapter did say it is focusing on chain facilities associated with operators Genesis, Icare, RegalCare and Autumn Lake.

Connecticut healthcare workers, more visible than ever due to their critical role in battling the COVID-19 pandemic, have been calling for higher pay, better benefits and an end to chronic understaffing for much of the past year. SEIU protesters have gathered outside the governor’s residence in Hartford and at long-term care facilities that have cut staff or failed to provide workers with adequate personal protective equipment.

Early last month, several SEIU-affiliated healthcare workers were detained by police after entering a Department of Public Health building in Hartford and refusing to leave. The protestors were part of a larger rally taking place outside the building on Capitol Avenue, where organizers were demonstrating for a “living wage” and pensions.

The SEIU represents registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants, receptionists, dietary aides and housekeeping and laundry staff.


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