Massachusetts PCA Wages to Reach $15/Hour by 2018
Approximately 35,000 Massachusetts personal care attendants (PCAs) will see their starting wages rise to $15/hour by 2018 following a June 25 agreement between the PCAs’ union and the administration of Gov. Charlie Baker (R).
The PCAs, paid through Medicaid to provide home care for elders and people with disabilities, currently earn $13.38 an hour and are unionized through 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.
In a statement, the union says that the Massachusetts PCAs are the first in the country to achieve a $15/hour starting wage.
Massachusetts home care workers joined the nationwide Fight for $15 movement last September, rallying in Boston for a living wage and better benefits.
The PCA union’s victory is a “blow to the persistent notion that paying workers more will make home care unaffordable for elderly and disabled clients,” Teresa Tritch of the New York Times editorial board wrote on June 26.
“In Massachusetts, advocates for the elderly and the disabled stood with the workers during their unionizing effort and in their drive for higher pay, because quality and continuity of care is better when pay is decent,” she added.
— by Matthew Ozga