Is Connecticut The Future For Wage Hikes?

May 18, 2021, Ben Swett, The SeniorCare Investor - In order to avert a strike by unionized nursing home workers at dozens of Connecticut nursing facilities, a deal is being struck with the state that will send hourly rates soaring.  The Governor stepped in to help the two sides reach a deal.  And what a deal for employees.

Most hourly workers will have a pay raise set at a minimum of $20 per hour.  CNAs will be increased from a $12 to $15 range to $20 per hour, while LPNs will have a minimum of $30 per hour.  There are also increases in pension contributions and health and wellness programs.

Most of the money will come from the state, with an extra $47.3 million in 2021 and $121.1 million in 2022, all going toward wage increases.  There is also a 10% increase in Medicaid funding from July 1 through March 31, 2022.  None of this is finalized, however.

All of this is great for the employees, but is it sustainable for Medicaid and future state budgets?  Will all other unionized nursing homes get the same increases?  And then what will be the impact on assisted living and other private pay communities competing for workers which don’t receive state funds?  

This may be the opening post-COVID salvo in what could be the largest labor rate increases the industry has ever seen.  Watch out, and hold on to your wallets.

In order to avoid a union strike at dozens of Connecticut nursing facilities, the Governor stepped in to help the two sides reach a deal.  And what a deal for employees.

Most hourly workers will have a pay raise set at a minimum of $20 per hour.  CNAs will be increased from a $12 to $15 range to $20 per hour, while LPNs will have a minimum of $30 per hour.  There are also increases in pension contributions and health and wellness programs.

Most of the money will come from the state, with an extra $47.3 million in 2021 and $121.1 million in 2022, all going toward wage increases.  There is also a 10% increase in Medicaid funding from July 1 through March 31, 2022.  None of this is finalized, however.

All of this is great for the employees, but is it sustainable for Medicaid and future state budgets?  Will all other unionized nursing homes get the same increases?  And then what will be the impact on assisted living and other private pay communities competing for workers which don’t receive state funds?  

This may be the opening post-COVID salvo in what could be the largest labor rate increases the industry has ever seen.  Watch out, and hold on to your wallets.