July 2, 2015
The state of Massachusetts has agreed to raise wages for more than 35,000 home health-care workers to $15 an hour by 2018. The workers, who take care of elderly and disabled people in their homes, are paid by the state MassHealth agency and represented by Local 1199SEIU.
"It's a big deal,” said Kindalay Cummings-Akers, a personal care attendant from Springfield. "I'm hoping that [Gov. Charlie Baker] is realizing how much money we save the state by taking care of our consumers at home, so they don't have to go to a nursing home.” The workers, who now make $13.38, will get a 30-cent raise July 1 if they ratify the contract, and the union and the state are still negotiating when and in what steps their pay will go up to $15. More than 4% of the workforce in Springfield, the state's third-largest city, are employed as home health-care workers through MassHealth. Read more