D'Agostino leads House passage of a bill that would increase the wages of 19,000 workers

May 2, 2018

State Rep. Mike D'Agostino led House passage of a bill that would increase the wages of thousands of workers who care for people with intellectual disabilities at private group homes and day programs statewide.

House Bill 5460, "An Act Concerning Minimum Employee Wages for Providers at State-Contracted Human Services," now heads to the state Senate for further consideration.

This bill would reallocate money to the state departments of Developmental Services and Social Services to cover the increased wages at 170 agencies across the state.

This reallocated money would allow DDS and DSS to pay a number of agencies in Connecticut that the state uses to outsource services, primarily community care residential services for disabled adults.

More than 19,000 workers provide these outsourced services -- 3,300 of the workers are unionized and about 2,500 unionized workers were planning to strike on Monday, May 7 if an agreement on wage increases was not passed by the legislature.

This reallocation of funds would help lift up the wages of all 19,000 workers who are grossly underpaid, many of whom live at the poverty line, are women, and make less than $14.75 per hour.

These workers help their clients with everyday functions such as eating, dressing, hygiene, and with activities like arts and crafts, music and outdoor sports.

But it's time for us to take care of these workers. By increasing their wages, we can help give the workers more financial security and allow them to continue to care for and provide for their own families.

Read more about the state House of Representatives' passage of House Bill 5460 in the May 2, 2018 edition of The Connecticut Mirror.