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New York City Home Care Workers Rally in Albany for Better Wages and Benefits

April 3, 2014

Five thousand home care workers from across the five New York City boroughs attended a rally in Albany on March 26 to urge Governor Cuomo (D) and the New York State legislature to adequately fund home care workers’ wages and benefits in the 2014-2015 New York State budget.

The rally was organized by 1199 SEIU, and attended by workers, employers, and elected officials.

“I love taking care of my clients, but I need to take care of myself,” said Nolasca Vargas, one of many home care workers who spoke in front of the enthusiastic crowd about why this funding is essential for home care workers and the health care system in New York State.

“If we don’t get quality health care, we can’t provide quality health care,” said Irina Ellis, who presented her remarks in both Russian and English.

Several representatives from the New York State legislature spoke to rally attendees, expressing support for home care worker wages and benefits, including Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D) and Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried (D).

PHI and Cooperative Home Care Associates (CHCA) staff were among the attendees.

“The fact that we were able to bring so many people out to a rally organized in just six days shows how important this funding is to home care workers and employers in New York State,” said CHCA Executive Vice President Adria Powell. “It was exciting to join SEIU 1199 home care workers, employers, and elected officials at this rally, and see the tremendous support we have for getting the wages and benefits our home care workers deserve.”

— by Casey Dinkin, PHI Development Associate

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