Archive for ‘Alabama’

Supreme Court Ruling on Immigration Law: A Call to Action

Posted by on August 13th, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Comments Off on Supreme Court Ruling on Immigration Law: A Call to Action

Catherine Singley

On June 25, the highest court in the land made a monumental statement about the United States’ broken immigration system: only the federal government, not individual states, has the power to fix it. The Court’s ruling is good news, but it is also a call to action, especially for immigrant workers. Nearly a quarter of all U.S. direct care workers—about 23 percent—are immigrants and about 15 percent are Latino, making this an important issue for direct care workers and those who rely on them.

In a 5-3 decision, the Court struck down most of the provisions of Arizona’s anti-immigrant law, SB 1070, which has wreaked havoc in Arizona since it was passed in 2010. After the passage of SB 1070, 72% of Latinos believed that police would be inclined to stop and question someone just because he or she is Latino. In addition to creating a culture of fear, the law resulted in a net financial loss for Arizona, costing the state $434 million and 8,472 jobs due to cancelled conferences, $265.5 million in lost earnings, and $28.8 million in lost taxes. Continue reading »

Book Award Unearths Retired CNA’s Past as Civil Rights Hero

Posted by on December 21st, 2009 at 10:12 pm | 1 Comment »

Claudette Colvin last month (L) and in 1953

A National Book Award awarded last month for a young adult book has given its subject, a retired nursing assistant, a taste of long-overdue fame for a brave act in her youth.
Claudette Colvin, a civil rights pioneer who refused to give up her seat to a white woman in Montgomery months before Rosa Parks walked into history books by doing the same, recently retired after 35 years as a nursing assistant in a New York City nursing home.

The civil rights leaders planning to fight segregation laws in court decided not to use Colvin’s arrest as their test case, the author of the book told the New York Times. “They worried they couldn’t win with her. Words like ‘mouthy,’ ‘emotional’ and ‘feisty’ were used to describe her.” 

In the Times article, Colvin said even her own mother told her it was best to cede the spotlight to Parks. “My mother told me to be quiet about what I did,” she recalled. “She told me: ‘Let Rosa be the one. White people aren’t going to bother Rosa — her skin is lighter than yours and they like her.’ ”

Elise Nakhnikian
Communications Director
Direct Care Alliance

Real Wages Keep Falling for Personal and Home Care Aides

Posted by on September 9th, 2009 at 11:17 am | 1 Comment »

state chartbook coverAs every direct care worker advocate knows, personal and home care aides earn far too little for the important work they do. And now an updated version of PHI’s State Chart Book on Wages for Personal and Home Care Aides (PDF) gives advocates a valuable tool, proving that real wages are actually getting worse.

The chart book analyzes data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, adjusting last year’s wages for inflation to see how their earning power compares to average wages in 1999.

Nationwide, these inflation-adjusted rates, which the chartbook calls “real wages,” have decreased by 3 percent over the past nine years, dropping from $7.50 an hour to just $7.31. Real wages increased in more than half the states during that period, but not enough to make up for their decline in the other 21.

Median wages in 2008 ranged from $7.05 an hour in Texas to $12.55 in Alaska in 2008, or real wages of $5.61 to $9.90. “Wages for personal and home care aides are so low,” says PHI Director of Policy Research Dorie Seavey, “that about 20 percent of these workers received a raise on July 24 when the minimum wage increased to $7.25/hour.”

The chartbook also compares wages to federal poverty level wages for a one-person household.

Elise Nakhnikian
Communications Director
Direct Care Alliance

DCA Publishes Fact Sheets for Direct Care Worker Advocates and their Allies

Posted by on June 25th, 2009 at 10:56 am | 1 Comment »

A full set of DCA Direct Care Fact Sheets, one for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, is now available in the Resources section of our website.

The one-page sheets were created as a resource for direct care worker advocates and their allies, legislators, policymakers, members of the media, and others interested in direct care issues. They include key facts such as:

  •   The number of home health aides, nursing assistants, and personal and home care aides in the state in 2006 and the projected numbers of each in 2016
  •   The average hourly wage for the state’s direct care workers
  •   What percentage of direct care workers in that state or region are without health insurance

Elise Nakhnikian
Communications Director
Direct Care Alliance