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Minnesota PCA Union’s First-Ever Contract Includes Wage Increase

July 9, 2015

The first-ever contract between Minnesota and a recently formed union of personal care attendants (PCAs) began on July 1, and includes an across-the-board wage increase.

The contract raised the wage floor for Minnesota’s 27,000 unionized PCAs from $9 to $10.75 beginning July 1. The wage floor will increase yet again, to $11, by 2016.

Additionally, the contract allows PCAs to accrue up to five days of paid time off per year.

“No one should have to choose between caring for their sick children and paying the bills,” said St. Paul PCA Sumer Spika in a July 1 statement from Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which represents the workers.

“This part of the contract is an important step towards fixing one of the many injustices facing the workers like me who care for seniors and people with disabilities across our state,” Spika added.

Minnesota’s PCA workforce voted in favor of union representation with SEIU in August 2014, and reached a tentative contract with the state the following January.

The legality of the union has been repeatedly challenged by the National Right to Work Foundation (NRWF), an anti-union organization.

The NRWF is supporting a new challenge to the PCA union, the Star Tribune reported on June 30. Oral arguments are expected to begin in the fall.

— by Matthew Ozga

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