Posted by Direct Care Alliance on September 25th, 2012 at 10:42 am | 13 Comments »
Determined to win home care workers the respect and basic labor protections they deserve, direct care workers and their allies converged on Capitol Hill last Friday for a National Day of Action. The advocates visited their members of Congress to deliver an urgent message: We must guarantee home care workers the right to minimum wage and overtime pay. Meanwhile, hundreds of advocates across the nation delivered the same message in their home states, visiting members of Congress in their home offices, calling them on the phone, or signing petitions in support of the cause.
The event was sponsored by the Direct Care Alliance (DCA), in partnership with Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice and the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA). Many other national and local organizations also participated, spreading the word to their constituents.
On Capitol Hill
The more than 50 people who met in Washington, D.C. started the day with a morning orientation session led by DCA’s National Advocacy Coordinator Jessica Brill Ortiz. Continue reading »
Posted by Catherine Singley on August 13th, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Comments Off on Supreme Court Ruling on Immigration Law: A Call to Action
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 »
Posted by Direct Care Alliance on August 13th, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Comments Off on Voices Institute Grads Speak Out in Miami Herald
DCA members and Voices Institute graduates Elizabeth Castillo, Tim Doe, and Joan Leah provided powerful quotes and facts for a Miami Herald feature story last week on the U.S. Department of Labor ruling that would grant home care workers minimum wage and overtime pay.
The story explains why DCA and other advocates for rule are concerned that the rule may not go into effect at all if it is not enacted soon. Home care worker Castillo of El Paso, Texas, who does not qualify for overtime and makes barely more than minimum wage, talks about the long hours she logs and her need to rely on food stamps to supplement her income in weeks when she can’t get more than 40 hours of work. “I don’t know how I do it, but I do,“ she says.
Doe, a founding member of the Arizona Direct Care Worker Association’s Leadership Circle who lives in Tucson, must also work long hours without overtime pay to make ends meet and support his three children. “Emotionally, it’s so hard. But I don’t have a choice,” he says. Continue reading »
Posted by Direct Care Alliance on September 9th, 2009 at 11:17 am | 1 Comment »
As 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.
Direct Care Alliance
Posted by Direct Care Alliance 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
Direct Care Alliance