50,000 home care staff in Massachusetts, United States, will receive a pay increase of $1.10 (89p) per hour and 50 extra hours of paid leave, following an agreement with the Government of Massachusetts.
The new contract, which was agreed after negotiations with the employees union, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, means that workers will see their hourly rate increase from the minimum wage of $15 (£12.17) to $16.10 (£13.06) per hour, effective from 2021.
Additionally, the care workers will be entitled to 50 hours of extra paid time off annually.
Janice Guzman, a personal care attendant member at 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East union, said: “I am proud of the gains we’ve made through our union. The extra hours of paid time off we won in our contract recognises that when we work hard we need to take time off, especially when we’re sick. I know we couldn’t have done this on our own, and that’s why I’m fighting so all home care staff can unite together in unions and win higher pay, basic benefits and better training.”
Milka Exantus, a personal care attendant member at United Healthcare Workers East union, added: “We’ll all need someone to take care of us someday. That’s why every step we take as home care staff to improve our wages and win basic job protections and training opportunities is a step not just in improving our jobs, but addressing the growing need for quality long term care.”
The Government of Massachusetts was unavailable to comment at the time of publication.