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Minnesota PCA Union Reaches Contract with State

January 22, 2015

A newly formed union of personal care assistants (PCAs) in Minnesota reached a tentative contract with the state on January 15.

If approved, the contact would raise the wage floor to $11 an hour for the estimated 27,000 PCAs who provide consumer-directed home care in Minnesota.

The contract would also fund training for workers, allot five days of paid leave per year, and provide protections for workers if they are unable to work due to circumstances beyond their control (for example, their client is hospitalized or dies).

Minnesota PCAs voted in favor of unionization in August 2014; they are represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Anti-union organizations have on multiple occasions attempted to block the union’s ability to collectively bargain with the state, but judges in the state have consistently sided with the union.

In an SEIU press release, Francis Hall, a home care worker and union member, said that home care workers “are fighting to live, not just survive.

“This contract is a critical step towards that goal, but we know that our work of winning dignity, respect and a decent livelihood for home care workers has just begun,” Hall continued.

Union members will hold a vote on the contract in the coming weeks. If the union votes in favor of ratification, the contract must then be approved by the legislature.

— by Matthew Ozga

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