NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH) -- Health care workers in Norwich hit the picket line today Friday after contract talks broke down with their company Whole Life, a residential facility for people with special needs.
They provide care and help all day long, but these health care workers don't feel like they're getting much care and help from their employer. They've been negotiating a new contract with Whole Life Inc. for months, then things took a bad turn.
"Recently their employer took the unprecedented and illegal step of simply implementing the contract provisions that she wasn't able to implement otherwise," said Deborah Chernoff of the New England Health Care Employees Union.
In other words, without a new contract, Whole Life cut pay, cut holidays, and told employees they would have to pay more for their own health care,
"It's absolutely ridiculous and it's going to affect my family and all of these people's families," said Whole Life employee Lori Forbes.
"Basically, we're struggling as it is," Sheila Eldridge said. "They take this stuff away from us, we're not gonna make it."
The company these folks work for, Whole Life Inc., provides care and services for people with special needs and developmental disabilities. The state usually provides those, but the state contracts out to Whole Life thinking a private company can do it cheaper.
"They have an obligation since they are taking a lot of public money to make sure we support quality jobs," Chernoff said.
Today's event was not a strike. Workers here came on their own time to try to draw attention to the contract dispute, here at the Norwich facility and at Whole Life branches all over the state.
News 8 has calls into Whole Life for their side of the dispute. We have not heard back.
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