Massachusetts Personal Care Attendants Ratify New Contract With Exciting Benefits

Jul 09, 2012

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In early July, the more than 30,000 personal care attendants in Massachusetts who are members of 1199SEIU ratified a new contract with the PCA Workforce Council, the state-appointed negotiating authority for homecare workers.

The new three-year agreement includes:

  • A $.90 raise over the three years of the contract (from $12.48 to $13.38)
  • A $1 million fund for PCA training opportunities beginning in the second year of the contract
  • A $1.5 million paid time off benefit beginning in the third year of the contract
  • A health insurance reopener in the third year of the contract (after a subcommittee has met to assess PCA health insurance needs)
  • Health and safety language

PCAs are excited about the new contract and the increased benefits they will be receiving.

“I’m happy about the raises. The funding for education is very important. I’m very excited,” said Carlos Dias, a personal care attendant in New Bedford.

Jonathan Nieves of Holyoke echoed Carlos’ sentiments, but warned that PCAs still need to fight for the further improvements to wages and benefits they deserve.

“We cannot go anywhere beyond where we are now without organizing. We have to fight for what we need,” he said.


Showing 4 reactions


commented 2014-12-24 13:02:44 -0500 · Flag
I was against this union from the day they knocked on my door, several years ago! Obviously the majority voted to join. I don’t pay “union dues,” yet am forced to pay an “agency fee.” And because the 2 consumers work for utilize different fiscal intermediaries, I pay fees to BOTH (Cerebral Palsy & Starvos).

Noteworthy: Non-union members get the same 90 cent (on July1st) raise REGARDLESS! This is a cost of increase raise, nothing more.

I have yet to receive ANYTHING from being a “member.” Because I am paid by the state of Massachusetts through Masshealth’s budget, I’m not going to see a benefit in my lifetime! It’s common sense!!! Medicaid can’t provide benefits…. they are expanding, because of the federal $ they received from the “Obama Care” plan; which will be in the works for several years, as they work out all the kinks.

I wish I really did have a CHOICE! But, that was taken from me. I also wish that other PCA’s where I work RESEARCHED the union BEFORE VOTING; made an informed decision!!! Instead, they majority blindly bought into the rhetoric the rep’s spoke!!
commented 2014-07-16 12:21:57 -0400 · Flag
Hello – now that we’re at July 1, 2014 how will people learn more about getting access to the paid time off if they’re qualified? Will this be based on the amount of hours worked in the previous 3 months (so June, May, April 2014?) – Is there paperwork to fill out, or will people be notified automatically if they qualify – and on what timeline? Thank you!
commented 2014-07-04 13:53:29 -0400 · Flag
Now that the SCOTUS clearly stated in Harris v Quinn (June, 2014) the Illinois Personal Care Attendants paid through Medicaid cannot be assessed an agency fee and since MA is identical in nature…when will the agency fee be dropped?
commented 2012-07-25 16:29:00 -0400 · Flag
This supposed 90 cent raise ova 3 yrs 4 Mass PCA’s was suposta start July 1st w/ a 30 cent raise 2 b followed by another 30 cents next July 1st then 30 cents July 1st 2014. I say supposed because July 1st has come & gone & my fellow PCA both received only a 20 cent raise & nobody @ the local union will return my call 2 explain. I was told about the raise from a union rep! I feel lied 2 & am pissed off that the rep who told me will not call me back! She also said that Mass won’t give us Health Insurance either! Wuts that about? That’s the only reason I joined 1199. So now I hafta pay fully 4 insurance & can barely pay & now on top of that, Im being shorted on my supposed raise. Outrageous! Now, I am no longer a member & still have 2 pay 1.2% of my pay? This is a joke! There r no benefits of being in this union other than training! This is wut their union is about? I’d prefer 2 call it a fraud! People should wake & look @ wuts really goin in in their “union” cuz I’ve ben in em b4 & this is nothing like any union I’ve ever ben in!

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