Healthcare Workers Disappointed by Amendment to Minneapolis Minimum Wage, Say it Will Harm Seniors and People With Disabilities by Extending Care Crisis

Minneapolis — Yesterday the Minneapolis City Council passed an amendment that puts nursing home and in-home care workers on a slower track to get to $15, despite our state’s current care crisis that is causing seniors and people with disabilities to struggle to find quality care. The crisis is caused by the low wages and lack of benefits in the industry, and this amendment will slow down progress in the growing care industry. Care workers expressed disappointment at this move, which means workers at big corporate chains get to $15 before people who make sure our loved ones receive quality care. Healthcare workers noted that if they want to protect care workers, Council members should join workers and clients at the State Capitol in the fight for real investment in care work for families in Minneapolis and across the state.

2015 Scott_VivianEmma Woodard, who works at Providence Place nursing home in Minneapolis, shared the frustration at the move, especially in light of the challenges the industry is facing and the coming wave of baby boomers who will soon need care.

“It is amazing that in light of the growing care crisis facing seniors and people with disabilities in our state, caused by the lack of workers willing to do this important and challenging work for incredibly low wages and lack of benefits, that the Minneapolis City Council thinks the answer is to hold back wage gains for care workers,” said Woodard. “This will make things worse, and the result will be felt not just by those of us working in the industry, but by the families in Minneapolis and beyond who will continue to struggle to get the care that they deserve. It is hard to imagine why elected officials think holding back gains that will result in higher quality care for Minneapolis families is a good idea. Seniors, people with disabilities and all of our families deserve better than this.”

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SEIU is the workers who provide care and support for your family in public schools, hospitals, higher education, nursing homes, schools, in your homes and the Twin Cities’ largest public and private buildings. The SEIU Minnesota State Council coordinates the electoral, legislative and outreach work of the SEIU Locals in Minnesota to increase the effectiveness of their collective bargaining and new member organizing campaigns. By building the political involvement of the approximately 53,000 workers SEIU represents throughout the state, the State Council is working to improve the lives of all Minnesotans. The State Council’s board is comprised of elected leaders, members, and staff of the four SEIU Local Unions in Minnesota.

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