Maine Home Care Workers Rally for Better Jobs
Maine home care workers held a rally on May 9, asking lawmakers to support higher wages, better benefits, and improved training for the state’s home care workforce.
The rally was held at the Brewer headquarters of Food and Medicine, a nonprofit organization that works to ensure that workers do not have to choose between basic necessities.
One of the themes of the demonstration was the difficulty faced by many home care workers when it comes to making ends meet.
Home care worker Helen Hanson — a worker advocate for the Direct Care Alliance and a long-time PHI ally — told the crowd, “My bills are paid, but when the oil tank is down, do I pay the mortgage or do I spend $350 dollars to put 100 gallons in the oil tank?”
A juggler performed at the rally to further symbolize the theme of home care workers having to juggle their financial responsibilities.
In Maine, the median home care worker wage was just $10.54 in 2011, according to the PHI State Data Center.
— by Matthew Ozga