Children’s Autism clinic shuts down for week as employees continue to strike demanding pay

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(ABC 6 News) – The Bluestem Center for Autism announced that they will be closing both facilities for the remainder of the week as employees continuing to strike demanding paychecks.

They were promised paychecks Wednesday after the company failed to pay its employees last week.

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Wednesday, Bluestem leaders informed employees that instead of receiving their checks today as previously promised, it will be delayed until Thursday. Now, they say they might not get them until next week.

Leaders told employees Wednesday that all services in both Byron and Rochester will be canceled for the rest of the week, and possibly into next week.

“They’ve been really short so it hasn’t been a big explanation or anything,” explained one of the employees on strike, Madison Hogue, a registered behavior technician at Bluestem. “They’re just saying ‘hey, it wont be coming now until Thursday,’ so we are getting no response or any reasoning behind it. We haven’t heard from Seth the CEO since Friday.”

The employees say being away from the clinic has been extremely difficult, but they appreciate families understanding where they are coming from. And that their livelihoods depend on their paychecks.

“I am sorry that this is happening. I’m sorry that your children are going through this. Me as a parent, I have a child who is on the spectrum and I know how important routine is for them. It’s truly hardening for us as well,” said Heather Sommers, a registered behavior technician at Bluestem.

Employees at Bluestem say they refuse to go back to work until they are paid. The staff is also demanding that the clinic create new policies to ensure this never happens again.

The original late payment Bluestem leaders claimed was due to issues with private and public reimbursements. Wednesday, they did not provide reasoning for why it was delayed again.

A man who’s daughter uses services from Bluestem reached out to ABC 6 News and said while it is a disruption to his family who relies on these services, he believes workers need to be paid on time. Adding that he hopes for a quick resolution for everyone involved.