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.
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!!