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Be Well

Home Care Workers Rally For $15 An Hour

Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 2:15 PM

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HOST: Fast food and home health care workers combined forces in a campaign for $15 an hour wages. The union organized rally took place outside a McDonald's on St. Clair Avenue. It was part of a national one-day "solidarity" campaign. ideastream's Sarah Jane Tribble was there.

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Ashley Mills, 25, holds a sign at an early morning rally to raise pay. As a full-time home care worker for the past 3 ye Workers line St. Claire Avenue in Cleveland during the morning commute to raise awareness for wage increases. Artheta Peters of Cleveland, center, raises her hand to yell about wages. Peters has worked as a home care aid for 13 years and earns $8 Home care workers march in front of a McDonalds during the early morning commute in Cleveland. “We want change and we don’t mean pennies. Home care workers in Cleveland Thursday joined a national effort led by fast food workers to increase wages to $15 an hour.

As the sun began to rise Thursday, a group of home care workers carried signs and yelled “Home care counts! Home care counts!” into a microphone, hoping to catch the attention of morning commuters and customers.

Nick Gurich of the Service Employees International Union led the group with chants and speeches. He says, the fight to increase pay that began last year with fast food workers nationwide also resonates with home care workers.

“The stories that we hear from home care workers and the stories we hear from McDonalds workers, they are exactly the same. They all make about $8.50 to $9 an hour. They all have to buy uniforms from their employer...” Gurich says. 

And, he says, most of the jobs do not come with health insurance.

Jasmin Almodovar has worked as a home health aide for 11 years. The care she provides, she says, is worth much more than the current pay.

“Enough is enough, we work hard and without us, how are people going to survive?” Almodovar says.

Industry sources say they are constrained by the state and federal Medicaid reimbursement system, which pays the bulk of home health care costs and, they say, it allows little wiggle room for pay.

Sarah Jane Tribble, 90.3

Additional Information

“Fast Food Wage Protests Emerge Across U.S., Including Cleveland,” December 5, 2013 by Brian Bull, WCPN


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