20 long-term care workers arrested during rally demanding more on-the-job protections in Hartford

Hartford

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Long-term care workers demanding more protection on the job stormed the State of Connecticut’s Office of the Policy & Management (OPM) building in Hartford Thursday afternoon.

They’re calling on the state to establish and fund the “Long-term Care Workers Bill of Rights”. They say too many workers in long-term care are living under the poverty line without affordable healthcare while also facing dangerous conditions every day.

“Do you know what’s in the budget for nursing home workers? Do you know what’s in the
budget for home care workers? Do you know what’s in the budget for group home workers?
Nothing. There’s nothing for you in the budget,” said Union President Rob Baril. “Long-term
care workers should not have to work late into their 70s to pay their bills. Everyone deserves to
have a pension so we can retire with dignity and respect. We’re just fighting for basic human
rights.”

“How can we tell these workers at the Legislature that they are not a priority in the state budget.
After all they’ve been through, how can we vote to pass a budget that does not make an
investment in them?” said State Representative Manny Sanchez. “We forget that most of us have elderly and disabled loved ones who need care, and that one day we may also need these services to survive. Long-term care workers need livable wages and benefits. They work too hard, they are too important in our communities and they deserve no less. It is our responsibility to care for these workers the way they are willing to care for each and every one of us.”

The rally began with ralliers picketing outside the State OPM building at 450 Capitol Ave. Police were called when some of the ralliers walked into the building and refused to leave just before 5 p.m.

Police say the protest involved around 100 participants. About 20 individuals entered the building and were subsequently arrested. They are all charged with criminal trespass and were released on a $1,000 non-surety bond. They are scheduled to appear in court Monday, April 12.

Connecticut State Police said, “It should be noted that this demonstration was peaceful and there were no reports of any injuries of those arrested or the involved Troopers. There was no use of force by the Connecticut State Police. The Connecticut State Police support peaceful protest and will work to protect the safety of all those involved.”

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