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Governor Ned Lamont


Governor Lamont Announces New PCA Labor Agreement

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that his administration has submitted to the Connecticut General Assembly for their consideration a new three-year agreement reached between the Connecticut Personal Care Assistant (PCA) Workforce Council and SEIU District 1199 New England.

“This historic agreement shows our commitment to address the worker shortages experienced by some of Connecticut’s most vulnerable Medicaid participants through the creation of a package of wage and benefit enhancements that will support recruitment and retention in the home care workforce and ongoing education and training to promote quality service delivery,” Governor Lamont said. “It will ensure consumers’ preference to receive care in their own home and community for as long as possible and helps delay or avoid more costly institutional care. I want to personally thank all those who helped to negotiate this, and I urge the General Assembly to promptly approve this agreement.”

“This contract will lift union PCA minimum pay rate up to $23 an hour,” Rob Baril, president of SEIU 1199NE, the New England Health Care Employees Union, said. “That’s an important step up for thousands of Connecticut home care workers, who are majority Black, Latina, and White working-class women. They provide love and care at home for our elderly and disabled, but they keep struggling to cover their family’s essential needs. We thank Governor Lamont and the state’s PCA Workforce Council for working with our union home care team to achieve this historic agreement on behalf of nearly 12,000 direct caregivers.”

“This is a significant change that will make a big difference in my life,” Cynthia Johnson, a PCA from New Haven, said. “I love giving care to my consumers. And I know that there are many people out there seeking support to live independently at home. With this new contract, both me and my consumers can get peace of mind. I will be able to keep the job that I love so much, provide care for my consumers, and grow as a personal care attendant in Connecticut. I want to congratulate my union sisters and brothers on this victory for home care services, and I thank Governor Lamont for his vision to make some much-needed progress on the conditions of our workforce.”

The agreement runs through June 30, 2026, and achieves the following:

  • Provides historic wage increases: PCAs will receive a 26% wage increase over the life of the three-year contract, lifting workers from $18.25 per hour currently up to $23 per hour by January 1, 2026. This wage makes Connecticut a national leader in the compensation provided to PCAs serving Medicaid recipients in similar programs.
  • Acknowledges and rewards longevity: PCAs working two or more years for the same consumer-employer will be eligible to receive a longevity bonus payment of $400 or $800, depending on the annualized number of hours worked per week. This will help promote more consistent, higher-quality care for the consumers and encourage PCAs to grow within the profession.
  • Provides two additional paid holidays (Juneteenth and Labor Day): PCAs currently receive time-and-one-half for hours worked on six holidays (New Year’s Day; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Thanksgiving Day; and Christmas Day). Juneteenth and Labor Day will be added to that list.
  • Expands paid time off: PCAs have the ability to accrue an extra ten hours of paid time off per year, increasing paid time off maximum accruals from 40 to 50 hours per year and the ability to carryover unused time up to a maximum of 100 hours in any state fiscal year (up from 80 hours in prior agreement) to allow workers to stay home when they are sick or a child is ill without fear of missing a paycheck, and provides the option to take vacation and personal days to avoid burnout and recharge to support better quality of life.
  • Expands health care premium assistance: This agreement provides additional access to affordable health care coverage by expanding the innovative cornerstone of the last contract through simplification of the application procedure from a semi-annual to annual process and expanding the health premium assistance amount from 6% to 7% of annual wages. These payments allow PCAs who do not qualify for HUSKY or Covered Connecticut financial assistance with purchasing quality, affordable health care coverage through Connecticut’s health insurance exchange Access Health CT. For the majority of PCAs, these premium assistance payments will cover most, if not all of the premium cost for a plan on the exchange. This move further emphasizes Connecticut’s role as a national leader in its support of PCAs, as most states with similar programs do not provide any assistance with the costs of obtaining health care coverage.
  • Supports improved quality and service and career development through voluntary training options and tuition reimbursement: $750,000 is dedicated to worker orientation and training with funds being allotted for tuition reimbursement for those taking PCA courses from an accredited institution that support their work as a PCA and improve the quality of services they provide to the Medicaid participants for whom they work.

Last week, members of SEIU 1199 ratified the contract. The General Assembly will need to vote on the agreement.

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