Sunrise caregivers take to the picket line for third day ahead of union, management negotiations

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HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Thursday marks day three of taking to the picket line for caregivers at Sunrise facilities across the state, demanding more money, benefits, and affordable healthcare.

Caregivers were back out at 7 a.m. again — this has been the case since early Tuesday morning. Not just in Hartford, but in three additional locations across the state.

The people taking to picket lines are caregivers who take care of people with various disabilities. One woman has been doing that for the last 23 years and says she has to work two other jobs to maintain.

They are asking for more than $17 an hour, they say health insurance is $6,000 a month for a family plan and so they tell us most workers have to decline coverage.

However, management says it is working with the state to seek additional funding to provide a pension to these workers. Sunrise management also told News 8 in a statement it has agreed to wage increases and is still reviewing requests it received from the union last week.

“We’ve been able to settle over 50 contracts in Connecticut nursing homes with the identical stream of funding that this company is refusing. There’s no excuse,” said Pedro Zayas, Spokesperson, New England Health Care Employees Union, District 1199, SEIU.

“Insurance for Sunrise is 6 thousand dollars a month. No one at our facility can take it. Because it’s 6 thousand for a family. We get paid $17.50. I haven’t had a pay increase in 15 years,” said Jennifer Brown, Direct Support Professional, Sunrise Northeast.

Discussions are slated to begin between the union and management later this afternoon.

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