The state has reached a tentative agreement with union nursing home workers, postponing a strike that was scheduled to start Friday.
The unions representing the workers were adamant about getting to $20 an hour. Workers at 26 nursing homes were prepared to walk off the job Friday morning. These nursing homes are private companies, but publicly funded because a majority of their residents are on Medicaid.
Gov. Ned Lamont said in a statement that they have received postponement notices from 26 nursing homes from District 1199, SEIU, and New England Health Care Employees Union.
"We have a basic agreement which is a four-year deal," the governor said. "Put front and center our nurses who have been there at our nursing homes taking care of our seniors through thick and thin over the last 14 months."
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An agreement reached with Icare facilities Thursday sets a $20 minimum wage for certified nursing assistants and $30 for licensed practice nurses, according to a spokesperson for the unions. Workers will also have a pension and receive funding to cover health insurance costs and wellness programs.
“I want to acknowledge and thank the leadership of Gov. Ned Lamont, Speaker of the House Matt Ritter, Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney, Chief of Staff Paul Mounds and OPM Secretary Melissa McCaw in making it possible to meet the goal of a Long-Term Care Workers’ Bill of Rights for nursing home caregivers,” Rob Baril, president of District 1199, SEIU, said in a statement.
A strike would have cost the state about $2 million a day. The union has postponed its strike notice with the Icare facilities until June 7. Strike notices previously set for May 28 at 13 other facilities remain in place. Combined, the strike notices over 4,000 workers at 39 Connecticut nursing homes.
Lawmakers will still need to approve the deal because it changes Medicaid rates.