Rep. Michael D'Agostino leads debate in the House chamber.
House Passes Homecare Workers Contract Amendment
By an overwhelming vote, the legislature has voted to approve a contract that raises wages, increases holiday pay, and provides workers' compensation for thousands of private sector, personal-care assistants who are directly employed by their elderly and disabled clients, but paid through state and federal programs.
The House voted 127 to 16 for final passage of the contract negotiated on behalf of the workers by the New England Health Care Employees Union, District 1199, with a PCA Workforce Council created under legislation passed in 2012 with the support of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. The Senate vote was 32-0.
These workers care for elderly and disabled Connecticut residents in their homes by helping them with grocery shopping, dressing, bathing, cooking and transportation.
“Every day, our personal care attendants put the needs of their clients ahead of their own. They’re there to lend a helping hand to their clients during their times of need, and they treat and love them as if they are their own family. But it’s time for us to take care of these workers. By raising their wages and providing workers’ compensation and overtime, we can give these workers the financial security they need to care for and provide for their families,” Rep. Michael D’Agostino (Hamden) said.
“This contract is a vital step forward in providing a living wage for homecare workers who provide invaluable services to our communities,” said SEIU 1199 spokesperson Jennifer Schneider. “Workers who spend their days caring for others deserve to be able to earn wages that allow them to care for their own families. Providing a living wage for people who care for the elderly and disabled is not a Republican or Democratic issue, it’s a right or wrong issue.”
Read more about the legislature's approval of the contract in the March 21, 2018 edition of The Hartford Courant.