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Direct-Care Workers in the News

August 21, 2014

Recent magazine and newspaper articles have highlighted the direct-care workforce.

Minnesota PCA Training Standards Lacking

Personal care attendants (PCAs) in Minnesota are not adequately trained for important care tasks, Chris Serres of the Star Tribune reported in an article published August 17.

“Of more than two dozen personal care attendants interviewed by the Star Tribune in the past two months, only one had received more than an hour’s training from their agencies,” Serres writes.

Serres also notes that nationally, there are no federal standards for training and certifying home care workers, leaving this important task to state governments. Unfortunately, in Minnesota, there is little oversight over home care worker training, Serres reports.

Shelly Elkington, owner of a Minnesota personal care agency, is quoted in the article as saying, “Lack of supervision is the elephant in the living room. There needs to be more eyes and ears in people’s homes…but no one wants to pay for it.”

PHI Affilate Featured in YES! Magazine

Inspired by Cooperative Home Care Associates (CHCA), New York City is expanding its support of worker-owned cooperatives, writes journalist Laura Flanders in YES! Magazine.

The article looks at the growth of CHCA, a PHI affiliate, from 500 workers in the late 1990s to more than 2,100 today, making it the largest worker-owned cooperative in the U.S.

Zadia Ramos, a CHCA home health aide for 17 years, is featured the article. She tells Flanders that although she is not rich, she is “financially independent. I belong to a union, and I have a chance to make a difference.”

The New York City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) have allocated $1.2 million for cooperatives such as CHCA in the 2015 budget, the largest investment by any U.S. city government in history, Flanders writes.

The article is included in the Fall 2014 issue of YES!, which focuses on “the end of poverty,” as well as on the Moyers & Company website.

— by Matthew Ozga

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