Tucson Company Rejects Pay Increase for Home Care Workers – SEIU will Continue to Fight for Workers
On December 15, the PCOA For All Inc. Board of Directors rejected a proposal for home care workers to receive a 22 cent increase from $9.60 to $9.82 per hour. The company’s bargaining team, including the CEO, had recommended supporting the modest wage increase. Representatives have been bargaining since May 31 to secure a raise and improve the quality of care clients receive by providing additional training. The workers were formerly employed by Pima County and transitioned to PCOA for All at the end of 2010.
SEIU members met last week with the Pima County Board of Health who agreed to support an earlier union proposal for a 40 cents per hour increase and send a letter to the PCOA for All’s Board of Directors requesting that the board either approve the pay increase or provide a compelling reason why they can’t afford the raise.
“Although AHCCCS has cut rates to home care agencies, they still receive an average of $15 per hour for home care services provided,” said Tina Puckett, a long-time home care worker and a member of the bargaining committee. “There is money available to give us a modest raise that will reduce turnover and improve the quality of care that clients receive. We want to partner with PCOA for All to provide training, but we can’t partner with them if they are denying us this modest increase and the basic respect we deserve.”
The union bargaining team has already identified several areas in the company’s budget which could be used to fund this modest wage increase. Workers have not had a wage increase in over seven years. The company’s management enjoys an assortment of employer paid benefits that front-line workers who care for patients do not have.
Home care is the fastest growing occupation in the country and the need for home care workers will increase with aging baby boomers and continuing consumer and policy shifts to provide more home-based services versus more costly and less consumer friendly options. There are over 3,500 home care workers in Pima County. SEIU Arizona is committed to reaching out to help raise standards across the board with all home care agencies in Pima county.
SEIU represents nearly half a million home care workers nationwide and has developed extensive training programs and partnerships with public and private employers and other stakeholders to improve the quality of care, improve working conditions and enhance and preserve funding for home care programs.
For more information, contact Suguey Hernandez, SEIU Pima County Organizer, at 520-247-4617 or firstname.lastname@example.org.