Long-term care workers say they’ve fighting for more money and better benefits.
Dozens marched outside the Department of Social Services (DSS) in Hartford on Wednesday.
That forced police to shut down a stretch of Farmington Avenue.
Workers are demanding what they call a living wage, as well as retirement options and paid time off.
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“We need more pay. We need health insurance. We need a lot of respect,” said Angel Hawes, a long-term care worker.
DSS says it doesn’t regulate wages and benefits.
But it has increased reimbursements for Medicaid enrollees and provided millions in extra pandemic-related support which included pay increases for some workers.
It points out private and non-profit nursing homes sometimes negotiate with staff through collective bargaining.
The New England Health Care Employees Union District 1199, SEIU says the workers’ contracts run out on Monday.
The union is looking for more support for workers from the facilities and the state.
An email to the Connecticut Association of Health Care Facilities/Connecticut Center for Assisted Living requesting comment has so far not been returned.