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U.S. Rep. Ellison Shadows Minnesota Home Care Worker

September 14, 2015

U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) shadowed personal care attendant (PCA) Clara Nakumbe as she provided care for her son on August 31.

The experience made it “even more clear to me the importance of home care workers being part of the Fight for $15 and a union,” Ellison said afterward,according to a press release from SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, which sponsored the event.

Nakumbe — whose son, Siran, has multiple sclerosis and requires round-the-clock care — is one of the approximately 27,000 Minnesota PCAs unionized through SEIU.

The recently formed PCA union’s first-ever contract with the state took effect on July 1, and will result in a wage increase to $11/hour by 2016.

“We are proud of the gains we made with our first contract, but know we still have work to do to get to the point where home care workers and the people we serve get the dignity and respect we deserve,” Nakumbe said.

In February, PHI Policy Research Director Abby Marquand joined Ellison on his podcast to discuss the challenges home care workers face.

PHI has facilitated several events for policymakers to shadow home care workers. To learn more about the PHI Come Care with Me Day and how to participate, visit the PHI website.

— by Matthew Ozga

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