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Mass. Home Care Workers Rally for $15 Wage

September 4, 2014

Joining workers across the country, Massachusetts’ home care workers rallied this morning for a $15 per hour wage. Standing in front of the State House, workers shared their stories of trying to support their families with limited income, no overtime pay, and no paid leave. 

As Frankie Cook, a Boston PCA and 1199SEIU member explained, “I have to make hard choices, whether to pay the rent or a utility bill or day care for my child.” Cook works for several consumers but, she explained, when she works more than 40 hours per week, she does not get time and a half for overtime.

State Senator Pat Jehlen (D-Somerville) joined today’s rally and expressed her support for a living wage for home care workers, along with paid leave. Jehlen shepherded a budget amendment through the Massachusetts Senate this year adding $6.1 million to the state’s home care budget specifically to increase wages.

The Fight for $15 began with fast-food workers walking off their jobs in hundreds of cities over the last two years. Today, home care workers in Boston joined that fight.

As one worker poignantly said, “We treat our clients with respect and dignity, and we want respect and dignity for ourselves as well.”

— by Karen Kahn, PHI Director of Communications

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