CT National Guard to be on hand in potential nursing home strike

Connecticut

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Over 3,400 nursing home employees may strike later this week. The National Guard is now working with the state’s health department to make sure everyone stays safe.

Related: State makes offer to nursing home workers union days before strike, includes nearly $300-million package, hazard pay

“We may have to have a fight to define what racial and economic justice for poor Black and Latino and working-class white women actually looks like,” said Local SEIU 1199 President Rob Baril.

As this Friday’s strike deadline looms, both sides are looking at a collision course and standing their ground. The governor’s offer follows:

  • 10% Medicaid Rate Increase for 9 Months
  • Wage Increases: 4.5% FY 2022, 4.5% FY 2023
  • Retirement Enhancement
  • Hazard Pay
  • Workforce Development
  • Expanded Child Care Options

Melissa McCaw, OEM for the State of Connecticut, added, “The governor is providing four times the rate of increase that they would typically see, as far as some of the one-time measures such as hazard pay, we did feel it was very important to recognize workers.”

The union calls it inadequate and says they want $20 an hour minimum for certified nursing assistants, or they will strike.

“If there is will from the administration to be able to get to a deal, that leaves people out of poverty and create adequate staffing with health insurance and retirement for folks we can get there.”

The governor’s office said that the companies running the nursing homes are absent and silent at the bargaining table. So he’s called up 50 guardsmen to monitor them if there is a strike.

“We are not replacement workers, we are not providing direct patient care, that is all being figured out by the Department of Public Health,” Cpt. Dave Pytlik, National Guard. “We are there to make sure the facilities are safe and to make sure people are well taken care of.”

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