Statement From Home Care Worker After Minnesota Court of Appeals Rules in Favor of Home Care Workers’ Union

The ruling is the latest in a series of losses for anti-union groups. Workers remain committed to addressing care crisis and improving lives of workers and families across Minnesota

Saint Paul — On Tuesday a three-judge panel of the Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed the Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS) dismissal of a union-decertification effort by a group calling itself “MNPCA” in December 2016, working in collaboration with the right-wing think tank the Center of the American Experiment. It is the latest in a string of losses for the anti-union organizations fighting to roll back the gains won by unionized home care workers over the last four years. In response to this latest court victory for workers and for the seniors and people with disabilities who receive care and families across Minnesota fighting to address the care crisis in our state, Anoka home care worker and elected union Vice President Corey Van Denburgh released the following statement:

Somali-HomeCareWorkers“Over the last few years we have made some crucial gains for home care workers and the people we serve. It’s a far cry from all the change that’s needed – wages are still far too low and there’s no health insurance for our jobs, for example – but still, we’ve made important progress in the short period of time since we voted to unionize. We’ve won sick pay for the first time, raised the wage floor by $3/hour, won free access to trainings, won over $150,000 in back-pay awards for workers who were underpaid, built an online matching registry to help home clients find the workers they need, and established time-and-a-half pay for holidays, among other gains.  Through these accomplishments, we are finally beginning to address the severe care crisis in our state, which has only been getting worse for years because of the low pay and lack of benefits provided for this important work.

“I am relieved and happy that this latest court case was ruled in our favor, as so many others have been over the last few years. The first two lawsuits trying to take away our union were filed a month before our union election, way back in the summer of 2014, and we have been under nonstop legal and public assault by anti-union groups ever since. As home care workers and people who receive home care services, we resolved to never let these extremist attacks stop us from making progress for the people of Minnesota, nearly every one of which will need home care services at some point in our lives.

“We have a lot of work left to do to address the state’s care crisis. Big-money groups fighting for years to tear down what we have won so far is a tragic misuse of time and energy. As someone who’s done home care work for over ten years and also as someone who has family members who receive care, I believe we should all be united as Minnesotans in working towards solutions to fix the care crisis. Whether Democrat or Republican, we all have been or will be impacted by the shortage of caregivers because of low pay and lack of benefits, so I hope we can put these divisive court cases and anti-union attack campaigns behind us. Let’s come together to make sure every Minnesotan can get safe, quality care and stay in their home with their loved ones.”

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