Raising Women’s Voices

Home health aide union steps up campaign

Posted in Health Disparities, Health Reform Policy Proposals by raisingwomensvoices on July 30, 2008

The union that represents home health aides—one of the fastest growing occupations in the city—is intensifying its drive to secure higher wages and benefits for 30,000 workers.
Members of 1199 SEIU will hold a rally inside the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden on Aug. 7 and have threatened to strike if contracts are not agreed upon with 25 New York City-area home care agencies by the middle of September.
Some 8,000 aides never had contracts and the rest are working under expired deals. Negotiations have begun with a few employers, but the union says the majority have not come to the table.
“When you look at the work they do, even the standards we’re fighting for aren’t enough,” said 1199 SEIU president George Gresham, whose mother worked as a home health aide. “But you have to start somewhere.” The union is looking to raise the minimum pay for a unionized home health aid above $8 and to maintain health benefits that have already been cut over the last few years.

read_more: http://www.crainsnewyork.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080730/FREE/47880886/1049

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