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Remarks by PHI President Jodi Sturgeon about Home Care Workers’ Wage Victory

September 24, 2013

On September 23, PHI President Jodi M. Sturgeon spoke at an event in Washington, DC, celebrating the Obama Administration’s recent decision to extend basic wage protections to home care workers. Following are her prepared remarks.

I am so happy to be here today to celebrate this significant step forward for more than 2 million home care workers.

It’s been a long time coming…and there have certainly been times over the years that I worried this day wouldn’t come.

But now, FINALLY, home care workers have been guaranteed the same protections as almost every other American worker.

This ruling corrects a long-standing injustice. This is a workforce earning near poverty wages while providing care and support to America’s elders and people living with disabilities.

It is an essential step in stabilizing this workforce. Doing so will ultimately improve the quality of home care services.  We cannot achieve that without improving the quality of the direct-care job.

Today, we celebrate! But our work is not done. We are committed to ensuring a thoughtful implementation that minimizes disruption for workers and equally important consumers.

I want to express my sincere appreciation to the dedicated folks at the Department of Labor who worked tirelessly to craft a rule that not only makes sense, but is responsive to the thousands of stakeholder comments that were submitted.

I am thankful to Sen. Tom Harkin and the staff of the HELP Committee for their leadership and support of home care workers.

And I am deeply grateful to our coalition partners, whose talents, resources, and unwavering dedication helped bring about this historic change.

Finally, thanks to everyone in this room — this day would not be possible without each and every one of you.

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