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Massachusetts PCAs Hold Rally for $15/Hour Wage

May 20, 2015

Several hundred Massachusetts personal care attendants (PCAs) joined two high-ranking state lawmakers at the statehouse in Boston on May 13 to rally support for a wage raise to $15/hour.

Chanting “What do we want? 15! When do we want it? Now!”, PCAs delivered signed letters to Gov. Charlie Baker (R), asking for the wage increase.

State Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D) and House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D) accompanied the PCAs to show their support for a potential raise for PCAs and for the growing Fight for $15 movement, which calls for living wages for home care workers, fast food employees, and other low-wage workers.

The work done by PCAs is “incredibly difficult and too often goes unrecognized,” DeLeo was quoted as saying in a May 13 South Coast Today article.

Currently, the estimated 35,000 Massachusetts PCAs who provide consumer-directed supports and services through Medicaid earn around $13.38/hour, the Associated Press reported on May 13.

The PCAs’ contract with the state is set to expire in July. (The workers are members of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.)

The estimated 20,000 Massachusetts home care workers employed by private agencies are also seeking a wage increase, the Telegram & Gazette reported on April 19. These workers are not unionized and earn around $9/hour on average.

— by Matthew Ozga

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