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$15 Wage Victory for Nursing Home Workers

Connecticut nursing home workers joined the Fight for 15 movement earlier this year. Courtesy: SEIU 1199
Connecticut nursing home workers joined the Fight for 15 movement earlier this year. Courtesy: SEIU 1199
November 12, 2015

HARTFORD, Conn. – After months of negotiations, workers at nursing homes across Connecticut announced they have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract.

As workers rallied in some 270 cities across the country Tuesday for a $15 minimum wage, many nursing home workers here reached that goal.

Jennifer Schneider, a spokeswoman for Service Employees International Union 1199, says more than half of nursing home workers, excluding LPNs and RNs, are paid less than $15 an hour.

"Having the Fight for 15 adopted by nursing home workers was really an important step toward people who are caring for other families being able to earn a wage that allows them to care for their own family," she states.

The tentative deal covers 2,600 workers in 20 facilities. All the workers won raises in the contract and certified nursing assistants will reach the $15-an-hour minimum.

Last April the workers voted to go on strike against three of the largest nursing home chains in the state. But the governor's office intervened and the union returned to the bargaining table.

According to Schneider, the tentative agreement announced Tuesday applies to facilities owned by Genesis and iCare.

"Negotiations are still ongoing for the Paradigm chain, and at this point we're very hopeful that we'll be able to reach a similar agreement with them," she adds.

SEIU 1199 hopes the momentum generated by the agreement in nursing homes will help workers in other low-wage jobs move toward a living wage.


Andrea Sears, Public News Service - CT