Saturday, July 2, 2022

Play

The U.S. Supreme Court strips the EPA's power to curb pollution, California takes a big step toward universal health care, and a Florida judge will temporarily block the state's 15-week abortion ban.

Play

SCOTUS significantly limits the Clean Air Act and rules against the "Stay in Mexico" policy, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to office, and President Biden endorses a filibuster carveout for abortion rights.

Play

From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

CT Group-Home Workers Could Strike Over Wages, Insurance Costs

Play

Monday, September 27, 2021   

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Caregivers at group homes in Connecticut have sent strike notices to two agencies after failure to reach contract agreements to increase wages and reduce health-insurance costs.

Roughly 500 union workers with the agencies Whole Life and Network Human Services are prepared to walk out Oct. 5.

After working through the pandemic understaffed and with low pay, group-home workers received $184 million from the state through the Service Employees International Union's (SEIU) Long-term Care Workers Bill of Rights. It would increase wages to $16.50 an hour this year, and $17.25 the following year.

Kevin Mackie, a direct support staff worker for 32 years at Network Human Services, said the agency will not discuss raises despite having the state funds.

"We're not talking a huge amount of money here," Mackie contended. "We've waited a very long time for raises. And it's been a very long time coming, because we are always forgotten. We're the forgotten employees working with the forgotten people."

Representatives from Whole Life and Network Human Services did not respond to requests for comment. Contract negotiations for Network employees are set to resume today. They have been without a contract since March. Whole Life workers have been without a new contract since 2019.

Kindra Fontes-May, organizer for SEIU 1199 New England, said it is also important to look at the workers' grievances through a racial-justice lens.

"Part of why the workforce is so forgotten is that the majority of the workforce is Black and brown, and primarily women; white, working-class people," Fontes-May outlined. "And when you deal with populations like that, who are also giving care to folks that are disabled, it is very easy to overlook it."

Fontes-May added many Connecticut group-home workers have requested racial-justice language be included in their new contracts. So far, facility administrators have not agreed.


get more stories like this via email
While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…


Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …

Environment

The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …


The only memorial to Anne Frank is located in Boise. (Kencf0618/Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …

Environment

Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …

Medicare fraud costs taxpayers an estimated $60 billion each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare track what happens at their doctor appointments. It also can help …

Social Issues

A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…

Social Issues

Another important U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month has been overshadowed by the controversy about overturning abortion rights. Legal experts say …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021