Dear Groden Family, 

You may have heard about our current negotiations with SEIU local #1199. We are looking forward to returning to the bargaining table alongside a Federal Mediator next Thursday, 8/2. Ultimately we are working towards a positive, financially viable resolution. 

In advance we want you to know the following: 

  • There are currently 60 members of our Direct Support Professional and Administrative Staff that are Unionized. This amounts to less than 10% of our total staff of 650.
  • The $11.70 hourly pay rate that has been referenced by Union spokespeople refers to the entry level salary for a Direct Care Support Professional with a high school diploma. The average salary for all Direct Support Professionals working in The Groden Center is $12.93. This compares favorably with the national average of $10.72 noted in the report entitled “America’s Direct Support Workforce Crisis…” published by the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities last year.
  • In accordance with our contract with the Union, we maintain staffing ratios “at the level that is clinically appropriate and approved by The RI Department of Education”. The fact that we are upholding these standards has not been called into question

We assure you that all students you have entrusted to our care are receiving a quality education grounded in the same evidence based practices that Doctors June and Gerry Groden founded The Groden Center on in 1976.

Our doors, phone and emails are always open to you. Please do not hesitate to reach out to either of us with any additional questions or concerns. 


Robin Ringer & Laurie Vinkavich-Cole