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Connecticut CNAs Reach Tentative Agreement on $15/Hour Wage

November 19, 2015

A union representing 2,600 workers in 20 Connecticut nursing homes reached a tentative agreement on November 11 that would raise workers’ pay to $15/hour, the Associated Press reported.

Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and other members of SEIU Healthcare 1199NE will vote on whether to ratify the agreement at some point in the next few weeks.

The 20 nursing homes affected by the agreement are all owned by iCare, a Connecticut-based skilled nursing facility company, and Genesis HealthCare, which operates hundreds of nursing homes and assisted living facilities across 34 states.

If an agreement is finalized, the raise to $15/hour will be retroactive to July 1.

Connecticut’s latest budget, which passed into law earlier this year, allotted nearly $36 million in Medicaid reimbursement rates to go toward paying for higher wages and better benefits for nursing home workers.

Connecticut CNAs already have one of the highest hourly wages in the country, according to the PHI State Data Center. In 2014, the median CNA wage was $14.86/hour in Connecticut, although that wage has been declining since 2007 when adjusted for inflation.

Matthew V. Barrett, executive vice president of the Connecticut Association of Health Care Facilities, a trade organization, told the AP that the wage increase would help nursing homes retain talented employees.

“That’s somebody being able to buy a Christmas present for their child or not being late on their electric bill. It’s a huge difference,” Schneider said.

— by Matthew Ozga

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