SEIU District 1199 New England

Group Home Workers' Union Reaches Tentative Deal as Strike Loomed

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Thousands of workers at Connecticut group homes were set to strike this morning, and walk off from hundreds of sites, but the New England Health Care Employees Union and the governor’s office said the workers have withdrawn notices for a strike.

Group home workers were calling on the state to come up with more funding for their wages and benefits and more than 2,100 caregivers were due to strike as of 6 a.m.

SEIU District 1199 New England said Friday morning that the workers withdrew notices after agreeing on a $184-million state funding package for the next two years.

“We believe this additional funding will resolve the open contracts. We have made substantial progress toward our goals for a $20 minimum wage, with major progress on retirement and other benefits,” Rob Baril, president of District 1199 New England, SEIU, said in a statement. “This is a great victory for racial and economic justice for the majority of Black and Latina women who make up this workforce of caregivers. All strike notices have been immediately withdrawn.”

Gov. Ned Lamont said in a statement Friday morning that his administration has received copies of strike withdrawal notices after news of a tentative settlement agreement between the union and the owners of the group homes, one reached with the participation and support of the governor and his administration.

The governor’s office said the Connecticut Department of Public Health received the notices late last night from group homes owned by Journey Found, Mosaic, Network, Oak Hill, Sunrise, and Whole Life.

“This is an important agreement which represents my administration’s commitment to respecting the collective bargaining and negotiation process, while also ensuring those in the care of these homes are receiving the services they need,” Lamont said in a statement. “This agreement is a positive step forward for the workers as they will receive pay increases and more support. I thank SEIU and the industry leaders for working collaboratively with our administration to reach this agreement.”

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