Daycare workers subsidized by government programs have negotiated four years of pay raises with the state following an executive action by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in 2011 giving them a process to unionize.
Malloy issued two executive orders creating a path to unionization for both child care workers and personal care assistants. Both groups are private contractors who do not work for the state directly but whose pay is subsidized by state programs.
The legislature codified the orders and gave the groups the right to collectively bargain in 2012 over objections from opponents who claimed the process would force the workers to unionize. Both groups have voted to join unions.
The agreement Malloy announced Thursday was negotiated with CSEA/SEIU LOCAL 2001 and represents the first pay raise child care workers paid under the Care 4 Kids program have received in 12 years. The program helps pay for the child care of low and moderate income families
Under the agreement, licensed daycare workers will see their general rates increase 12 percent over four years. The pay of unlicensed workers will rise based on the recent hike in the minimum wage.
“This is another sign of our commitment to raise the level of quality in child care settings, and increase opportunities for young children to be in safe and healthy learning environments that encourage learning,” Malloy said in a statement. “By increasing wages and providing professional development opportunities for Care 4 Kids home-based family child care providers, we are investing in our children and those who care for them.”
CSEA President Patrice Peterson said the agreement is a shift in state policy which will help close Connecticut’s achievement gap by aiding low income children.
“These family child care providers are often the first teachers a child has outside their home. They provide care for children at all hours of the day and night for parents earning low wages,” she said.
The agreement will need to be approved by both the union members and sent to the legislature. About 5,000 daycare providers are members of the bargaining unit, according to a press release.