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Sunrise Northeast group home workers walk out on strike

Nearly 150 unionized health care workers at Sunrise Northeast group homes went out on strike Tuesday morning.

Union members are seeking a better contract that includes higher wages, improved pension benefits and more affordable health insurance coverage.

“These are workers who, in many cases, have to work two, three, sometimes even four jobs just to pay their bills,” District 1199 SEIU President Rob Baril said. “All I can speak for is that the workers are determined to not be held in poverty any longer.”

Sunrise Northeast operates 28 group homes and programs that serve residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Another 100 group home workers and their employer — Alternative Services Inc. — avoided a strike Tuesday after the union and agency came to a contract agreement Monday.

Joe Amon is a Visuals Editor II with Connecticut Public’s Visuals department. As a photojournalist he has covered breaking news, sports and long form storytelling across the United States.
Nicole Leonard joined Connecticut Public Radio to cover health care after several years of reporting for newspapers. In her native state of New Jersey, she covered medical and behavioral health care, as well as arts and culture, for The Press of Atlantic City. Her work on stories about domestic violence and childhood food insecurity won awards from the New Jersey Press Association.