Bill passes in Senate that avoids strike of group home workers

HARTFORDSenate passed a bill Saturday afternoon that will raise wages non-profit group home workers, which prevented a worker strike that was scheduled for May 7.

The bill would provide a $14.75 minimum wage and a 5% increase for workers above $14.75 effective January 1, 2019.  This wage increase will cover 18,000 union and non-union workers who care for the disabled.

“We greatly appreciate the Senate, the House and the Governor for taking up this important matter that will positively impact the lives and wages of 18,000 workers and thousands of clients across the state,” said SEIU 1199 spokesperson Jennifer Schneider.  “Today the Senate ended a twelve-year draught of funding for services for the disabled in the private sector. Caring for people with disabilities is a difficult and important job and the workers who provide these services deserve to be valued.  Our members have agreed to call off the strike scheduled for Monday.  Passage of this bill brings much needed relief to union and non-union workers across the state who had been forced to work 80-90 hours a week due to low wages. It is our hope that moving forward these services are valued and properly funded and never again neglected.”

A group of 2,500 group home workers from 9 agencies in 250 locations were set to strike on Monday, starting at 6 a.m.