(WTNH) — On Friday, strike notices were sent by more than 2,000 unionized group home workers at 200 group homes across the state.
The six group home agencies receiving strike notifications Friday are Oak Hill, Network, Whole Life, Mosaic, Journey Found, and Sunrise at over 200 sites.
The notice cites, “Having assisted group home residents through the COVID-19 pandemic, and having lost two members due to COVID-19 complications, workers are demanding livable wages and benefits, as well as staffing ratios that put an end to the short-staffing practices that harm both workers and residents as noted in the Long-Term Care Workers’ Bill of Rights.”
The workers are demanding higher wages citing understaffing and difficulties of working during the pandemic. Two group home workers died after the union alleges they caught COVID on the job.
“I’ve been doing this job for almost 25 years. I’m going out on strike because health insurance is
more than $6,000 a month and there’s no pension. I’m ready to make a lot of noise to get what
we deserve,” said Jennifer Brown, a direct support professional who works three jobs at Sunrise,
Network and Journey Found. “To have to endure such treatment in a pandemic is unacceptable. I
work alongside my daughter and that’s my fight. Because I don’t want her to have to struggle as
hard as I’ve had to struggle.”
All group home union contracts are expired. The notice also says 5,000 long-term care workers have now delivered strike notices with “more than 2,000 group home workers today and over 3,400 nursing workers delivering strike notices last week.”