Archive for ‘Maryland’

Direct Care Workers in the News

Posted by on April 6th, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Comments Off on Direct Care Workers in the News

The March/April Caring Economy Campaign newsletter includes an interview with DCA’s Jessica Brill Ortiz.

DCA Executive Director Carla Washington on why it pays to invest in advocacy by and for direct care workers.

Maryland’s General Assembly approved a $10.10 minimum wage–and 30% more for direct care workers who work with the developmentally disabled.

Minnesota’s governor and legislature agree to boost funding for long-term care—and pay for direct care workers.

The government of New Zealand has announced it will begin negotiations with unions and industry about paying home and community support workers while they’re travelling between jobs.

A Baltimore CEO on why direct care workers must earn more than minimum wage.

Direct Care Workers in the News

Posted by on February 24th, 2014 at 11:04 am | Comments Off on Direct Care Workers in the News

“It’s way, way deeper than just a job,” says one of the home care workers in this article about going the extra mile to get to clients during this winter’s storms.

Personal support workers in Illinois and home care workers in Washington rallied for higher wages.

A home heath aide and single mother in Texas is typical of the new wave of food stamp recipients.

Sarita Gupta of Jobs With Justice on why the fight for direct care worker rights is a fight for racial justice.

AFSCME’s Laura Reyes on the sexist agenda hidden in the Supreme Court case about unions and home care workers.

Nurse’s aide Timikia Craig, winner of a $1,000 scholarship, on what drew her to direct care work and what it means to her.

After reading about a jobless home care worker in Pennsylvania whose unemployment benefits were ending, the wife of a Virginia man with end-stage dementia who relies on home care paid the worker’s mortgage for a month.

We must increase wages for direct support professionals, says a letter to the editor by staff of Arc Maryland.

Direct Care Workers in the News

Posted by on January 28th, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Comments Off on Direct Care Workers in the News

The U.S. economy does not value caregivers, writes Anne-Marie Slaughter in The Atlantic.

The text of a tweet chat about professional and family caregivers and direct care care consumers that was hosted last Wednesday by Caring Across Generations, DCA and family caregiver advocate Denise Brown.

A “good jobs” executive order could help direct care workers by setting standards for jobs paid for by government funding such as Medicare and Medicaid.

A Maryland direct care worker shares her experience and urges respect and a living wage for direct care workers.

Home health worker Theresa Johnson was among the SEIU members who visited the Indiana statehouse recently to urge their governor to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Protecting the Social Safety Net

Posted by on November 8th, 2011 at 10:32 am | 1 Comment »

CNA and DCA member Kelly Gessner testifying at a Senate briefing last week.

UPDATE: Help us fight to preserve these crucial programs by emailing your elected representatives. Our action alert makes it easy to send them a letter.

Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are under attack. Over the past several months, these social safety programs have become the focus of a political battle over what our government needs to do to create jobs and stimulate our struggling economy. This is alarming because these programs are fundamental to the already shaky economic security of our seniors, people with disabilities, and low-income families—a group that includes many direct care workers and their families, as well as most of the people they assist.

Unfortunately, the debate about whether to cut social safety net programs is being driven by politics, not the realities that millions of low-income families and individuals face every day. The Direct Care Alliance and many of our allies are waging campaigns to preserve these crucial programs. Continue reading »

Support Melanie’s March for Health Care Reform

Posted by on February 16th, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Comments Off on Support Melanie’s March for Health Care Reform

Melanie Shouse

A group of Pennsylvanians is marching the 135 miles from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., over the next week. They are going to call on Congress to support health care reform, and they want you to join them.

It may be a little late to join the march from start to finish, since it starts on February 17, but the leaders of Melanie’s March are also looking for people to join them at events along the way in cities like Newark, Wilmington, and Baltimore; donate to support the cause; or march the last mile with them to Capitol Hill. Continue reading »

Nursing Assistant in the U.S., King in Uganda

Posted by on December 21st, 2009 at 10:33 pm | Comments Off on Nursing Assistant in the U.S., King in Uganda

Charles Wesley Mumbere

A political refugee from Uganda who worked for years as a nursing assistant in Maryland and Pennsylvania has gone back home to take his place as king of the Rwenzururu Kingdom. According to an Associated Press article about Charles Wesley Mumbere, “The new King of Uganda’s Mountains of the Moon has undergone many transformations — from teenage leader of a rebel force to impoverished student to a nursing home assistant working two jobs in the U.S., where he lived for nearly 25 years.”

Mumbere grew up in the bush with a rebel group led by his father, a deposed king who was leading his Bakonzo people in protest against their oppression by the Toro Kingdom. After his father’s death, Mumbere came to the United States to study, gained political asylum, and trained as a nurse’s aide.

He chose the work, he told the paper, because it was reliable. “Other jobs you can be laid off easily.” But surviving on a nursing assistant’s salary wasn’t easy. “Sometimes you have two jobs,” he said. “You go to college in the morning, between 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Then you go prepare to go to work at 3 p.m. and then return at 11 p.m.”

Under a new arrangement with the Ugandan government, the exiled king was reinstated. He has no executive power, but he may determine cultural and social issues affecting his people.

Recruiting Public Housing Residents as PCAs

Posted by on September 9th, 2009 at 11:43 am | Comments Off on Recruiting Public Housing Residents as PCAs
Glenwood High-Rise

Glenwood High-Rise

A case study from the DSW Resource Center outlines a model for recruiting people in public housing buildings as personal care attendants.

Work Where You Live (PDF) describes a program in the Glenwood High-Rise, a 154-unit, mixed-population building in Annapolis. Eligible residents were both elders and younger adults with disabilities.

“Finding workers to provide services in congregate housing can be particularly challenging due to the stigma associated with public housing,” the case study notes. “Many individuals with disabilities prefer to directly hire and manage their own workers, but they often cannot afford to do so, and public funding is not always available.” The Annapolis program solved that problem while offering employment to public housing residents. Continue reading »

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