Workers to call for increase in wages, dignity on the job.
CLEVELAND, OHIO – Home care workers in Cleveland are joining forces with care providers across the country calling for higher wages and good jobs. Workers will kick off their “Fight for $15” campaign this Wednesday, June 11th at 4:30pm in Cleveland’s Public Square surrounded by care providers, political leaders and members of the faith community.
The demand for home care is exploding – it’s the fastest growing job in America – but the system doesn’t work for anyone. Families can’t afford to get the care they need and workers can’t afford to provide it.
“Everyone should have access to the services they need so they can live in their own homes with dignity and independence. And no one should be paid poverty wages and denied decent benefits to do this important work,” said Nick Gurich, Director of Organizing for the Service Employees International Union District 1199. “Income inequality is soaring – the 1% are getting richer while the rest of us are struggling to make it. It’s time to create good jobs to get the economy moving again – jobs that put money in the hands of ordinary Americans, not tax-dodging corporations and right-wing billionaires.”
“As home care workers, we have seen that when we stand together, we make home care better for everyone,” said Shakira Gresham, a mother and home care provider for the last 15 years who is helping lead the Fight for $15 home care campaign. “Raising wages means workers like me can feed our families and afford to put gas in our cars to get to work.”
Home care providers in Ohio earn on average $8.39 per hour according to recent data released by the United State Department of Labor (DOL) Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and most workers do not receive any compensation of mileage or paid time off for any reason including illness. Workers who are required to transport clients to appointments or need to take time off of work due to illness have to do so at their own expense, which can prove costly for care providers.
“Winning benefits means a sick day won’t cost us our job and we can plan for the future,” continued Gresham. “We are responsible for the care of our clients, but we can’t afford to care for ourselves.”
SEIU’s brave home care members and nonunion home care workers are joining together in the fight for independence, dignity, and justice for their families and communities. Calling for $15 an hour and a care system that’s better for everyone, home care workers are taking action across the country. Home care workers in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington are fighting for good jobs so they can afford to raise their families and take care of the families who depend on their services.
You can follow the Home Care Workers “Fight for $15” Event on Twitter using hashtag: #FightFor15