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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.