© 2024 WSHU
NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Amid Stalled Negotiations, Connecticut Union Claims Critical Shortage Of Mental Health Workers

Paul Brennan

Unionized workers at the Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown said there is a dangerous shortage of mental health workers.

Damien Nuzzo is a nurse clinical instructor at the state’s largest mental health facility. He said they are so understaffed that units have had to close during high demand in the pandemic.

“We are currently a year and half into COVID and those units have not been up and running yet,” Nuzzo said.

Nuzzo said he hopes this and the pending retirement of a third of staff can get resolved in the new union contract being negotiated with the Governor’s office.

“The problem right now is that we are at a staffing crisis and there’s no plan communicated as to how this is going to be addressed. It's currently impacting patient care particularly on the weekends,” Nuzzo said.

SEIU District 1999 is the union representing Nuzzo and the other workers. It’s asking for more staff and funding in contract negotiations with the Lamont administration.

The governor’s spokesman said the administration wants to work cooperatively with the union. But talks between the two sides are stalled.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.