Two-week lockout of nursing aides, other staff ends with contract agreement

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More than 250 union nursing home workers who were locked out after refusing to approve an earlier contract offer will return to work Friday after approving a new contract with one of the largest nursing home chains in the country.

The workers, who included nursing aides and dietary, laundry and housekeeping staffers, will receive a $2.40-per-hour jump in pay over the four-year life of the contract. It constitutes an average raise of 20%. The deal was struck between members of the New England Health Care Employees Union District 1199 and Harborside Healthcare, the owner of the Arden House in Hamden, CT.  For the first time, union workers will receive increased pay for working holidays – 2.5 times the regular rate – according to a union spokeswoman.

Employees had worked without a contract since April and took up picketing after Harborside locked them out Aug. 1. The company hired temporary workers to take care of the facility's 360 residents during the lockout.