Increase comes as part of the supplemental budget
St. Paul, Minn – On the last day of session, the Minnesota Legislature passed a 5% rate increase for the home-based long-term care industry, with 80% going to workers, beginning later this year. While inflation rose 24.5% between 2003 and 2012, provider rates that pay for caregiver wages increased only 3.4% during that same period. After years of low funding levels that could not keep up with rising costs in the field, workers praised the move as a great first step towards properly funding these essential services.
“I’ve seen firsthand how recent funding levels have made life harder for healthcare workers and the people we serve. I’m pleased that advocates like SEIU Healthcare Minnesota fought so 80% of this increase goes to workers and that our elected officials recognized the vital importance of this work,” said Shaquonica Johnson, a homecare worker who lives in Brooklyn Park. “This increase is only a beginning, but starting to make up for years of low funding will help to cut back on staff turnover and bring stability to the field, which will further help to keep people in their communities and save our state money. I hope this move is the first of many steps to ensure proper funding for these important services.”
Recognizing the important work of home care workers, Nikki Villavicencio, a recipient of personal care services, said the increase is a move in the right direction.
“My family and I have experienced high turnover caused by home care workers low wages, which decreases the quality of my care,” stated Villavicencio. “Increasing the wages of workers who care for me is a good first step towards more stability for my family.”
The 5% Campaign coalition has maintained that life in the community is the first and best option for people with disabilities and older Minnesotans, as well as their families, workers and our state as a whole. Acknowledging the challenging and important work being done by care providers, this increase is a first step towards properly recognizing and funding these vitally important services.
SEIU Healthcare Minnesota unites more than 17,000 healthcare and long term care workers in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and home care throughout the state of Minnesota. SEIU represents more than 30,000 members across Minnesota and is a powerful voice working to improve the lives of all Minnesotans