Home care members in MA win path to $25/hr

October 20, 2023

PCA members lobby-September-October.2023.final.jpgIn a groundbreaking settlement, the 58,000 Personal Care Attendants (PCA) in Massachusetts who are paid directly by the state government to work in home care, have ratified a new three-year contract that creates a pathway to earning $25 per hour.

"I grew up watching my mom care for seniors in their homes, and I have a deep appreciation for the important work that Personal Care Attendants do," said Massachusetts Governor, Maura Healey. "Our administration is proud to reach this historic agreement that provides fair pay and benefits for PCAs that reflect the heroic contributions they make to Massachusetts families."

The PCA workforce is comprised mostly of women and people of color. The contract centers equity and helps remove barriers to retention. Home care remains one of the fastest growing jobs in the country, but also one of the lowest paid. Other highlights of the contract include a new wage scale based on experience, retirement savings accounts, paid professional development opportunities, and a wage differential for workers who care for clients with complex healthcare needs.

"For far too long, PCAs have been expected to do this job with- out adequate wages that allow us to care for ourselves and our families, which is reminiscent of how do- mestic work has been undervalued even as it makes all other work pos- sible,” said Janice Guzman, a PCA from Worcester. “I will be making $23/hr by 2026, which will allow me to have peace of mind and help change the narrative about the value of home care.”

PCAs provide high quality care for seniors and people with disabilities, ensuring that these individuals can live at home independently, safely and with dignity. Massachusetts is home to more than one million seniors and almost 500,000 adults living with a disability. Yet, a shortage of home care workers across the country has strained the industry and put lives at risk. This has united PCAs and those they care for to take action. PCA wages will have gone up by 131% through the end of this contract since forming a union with 1199 back in 2008.