To The Editor:
I have been employed as a Certified Nursing Assistant at a skilled nursing facility for 21 years. For years before we unionized, my life was full of uncertainty. The facility offered no predictability to its workers. I would often show up to work, only to be told at the last second I wasn’t needed. I was raising three sons at the time and was working a second full-time job. As a divorced single mother, I worked seven days a week to make ends meet. I would take any shifts I could get. When I went to work only to be turned away, I received no compensation. But I still had to pay the babysitter. And I couldn’t cancel the electric bill. But my job made it clear they had the right to cancel me.
Unable to make ends meet with such unpredictable hours, I applied for housing assistance and food stamps. The state denied my request, because on paper, I got 40 hours. Because I was on-call, my paychecks often reflected only 24. After organizing our union and winning a contract, we ended my workplae’s abusive on-call scheduling.
In Connecticut, unjust staffing laws currently allow low wage employers to keep workers on call and to cut hours at the drop of a hat. Connecticut needs a Fair Workweek. That’s why the legislature needs to pass Senate Bill 321.