An additional $280 million in funding for nursing homes — including a 10% boost for Medicaid and a 4.5% wage increase — has been proposed by Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) in an effort to avert a strike by thousands of workers set to begin Friday. 

On Tuesday, however, he also requested help for nursing homes from the state’s National Guard in the event that workers do go on strike. 

Lamont’s plan includes a temporary 10% Medicaid increase that would start in July 2021 and total $85.8 million. It also offers a 4.5% wage increase, equal to $149.5 million, for workers in 2022 and 2023.

In addition, it calls for a $19.5 million increase to workers’ pension funding, $13 million for training and $12.5 million for hazard pay.

Lamont’s budget director Melissa McCaw on Monday sent the proposal to the SEIU District 1199 New England and nursing home association leaders. 

“We are negotiating our union contracts to finally rise out of poverty,” Rob Baril, president of District 1199, told local media Monday evening after receiving the proposal. “But we’re also fighting to make sure that residents can regularly count on having enough staff to meet their needs.”

More than 3,400 union nursing home staffers at 33 nursing homes are set to strike starting Friday in a bid to leverage better staffing ratios, and increased pay and benefits. Six additional facilities have also joined on to strike later in the month. 

“We’re trying to do anything we can to avoid a strike,” Lamont said during a press briefing on Monday. “We’ve got an aggressive proposal on the table because there’s nothing more important than taking care of our seniors, and I hope to God the nurses are there to do it.” 

Lamont’s proposal comes after top ruling-party lawmakers expressed confidence last week in the legislature’s ability to find additional funding to help prevent a planned strike.

Negotiations between the workers and providers remained ongoing.