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Missouri Quality Home Care Partnership

Missouri Personal Care Attendants Are On the Move!

We're one giant step closer to having the power to negotiate for real improvements in the Missouri home care program and the jobs we do!

The Missouri Quality Home Care Initiative is likely to be on the November 4th ballot, due to the signatures of thousands of Missourians who care about helping people live at home, with dignity. Once the initiative is approved by the voters we can negotiate a written agreement for program improvements, better wages, and pay for all the hours we work.

But to get our seat at the table we need to make sure this initiative is approved in November.

To win at the bargaining table, join the Missouri Quality Home Care Partnership, AFSCME Council 72 -- the VOICE of Missouri personal care attendants.

In a historic election -13,000 Home Care Attendants Vote to Form Union to Improve Services for Seniors, People with Disabilities

 

 

Creating good home care jobs will help ensure quality home care and save taxpayer dollars

 

Placing Missouri on a path toward improved healthcare for thousands of its seniors and people with disabilities, 13,000 home care attendants in Missouri’s consumer directed home care program have voted to join the Missouri Home Care Union, a statewide union of home care attendants.

 

The vote passed by a landslide margin of 85% Yes to 15% No.

 

Billie Jean Huggins MO Home Care Worker “I’m thrilled. This is fantastic news for Missourians who need home care and for caregivers like me,” said Salem attendant Threasa Bach. “The next step is to join forces with consumers to make home care better and available to more Missourians.”

 

Home care attendants from across the state voted in the historic election through special mail-in ballot starting on June 29. The election was conducted by the state Board of Mediation and was the largest of its kind in Missouri history.

 

Currently, home care attendants do not have health insurance benefits, despite being caregivers themselves. They also receive no sick days or vacation time. Many of the consumers in the state struggle to keep caregivers on the job, as 40-60% of attendants leave their positions every year for jobs with benefits or higher compensation.

 

 

“This is a new day for Missouri home care, one that will go a long way toward strengthening home care by helping attendants win the pay and benefits they deserve,” said Richard Blakely, Executive Director of Disabled Citizens Alliance for Independent Living. “I am honored to be on the Missouri Quality Home Care Council and look forward to working with consumers and attendants across the state to build a stronger consumer directed home care program.”

 

The announcement is also good for Missouri taxpayers. Home-based care is more cost-effective than institutional or nursing home care. With the number of elderly Missourians expected to rise more than 70 percent in the next twenty years, the demand for home care services will skyrocket. Investing in the creation of good home care jobs will help ensure a stable workforce of reliable home caregivers is in place to meet the demand and ensure older Missourians can remain in the setting they prefer, their homes.

 

 

 

“With a united voice in Jefferson City, attendants will now be able to make the kind of improvements that attract and keep caregivers – and that helps people with disabilities,” said consumer Marilyn Hicks of Niangua. “Missouri needs to invest in home and community based services, and now attendants will help make that happen.”

 

In November, Missouri voters passed Proposition B by 75 percent, which created the eleven-member, consumer-led Quality Home Care Council make it easier for people who need home care to find and keep a caregiver they can depend on. The Council will offer voluntary trainings and establish a statewide registry and backup system for times when regular caregivers are unavailable. It will negotiate with workers over wages and benefits.

 

 

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Representing more than 13,000 home care attendants, the Missouri Home Care Union is the largest healthcare union in the state. It is a joint effort by AFSCME and SEIU. Our mission is to improve and expand quality health care and to protect and improve the lives of all working families.



The Quality Home Care Partnership is Helping Attendants & Consumers

Recently, the AFSCME Missouri Quality Home Care Partnership helped ensure that the voices of personal care attendants and home care consumers were heard on Disability Rights Day at the Capitol. Workers and advocates came to Jefferson City in person. But often that travel isn't easy, so we brought their voices, stories and experiences to legislators with our Voices campaign video, which you can watch below...



AFSCME Council 72 Endorses Community Choice Act

Home Care Union (AFSCME - SEIU) at MO State Capitol(Jefferson City MO)  AFSCME supports self-determination and the lowering of barriers to full participation in society.  We support the ability to live independently and with dignity, in one’s home and as part of one’s community.  We support consumer choice through policy and through the daily direct assistance work of tens of thousands of our members.  

 

AFSCME supports more choices and a more flexible system of services and supports for people with disabilities.  We support the funding necessary to expand home and community-based services.  And we support maintaining consumers’ ability to independently select, hire, terminate and direct the work of the attendant. 

 

The Community Choice Act expands options, requiring states to amend their state Medicaid Plans to include a community-based attendant services and supports program; and CCA funds the design of systems for community attendant services, available as a consumer entitlement.

 

AFSCME Council 72 endorses the Community Choice Act. 

 

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Jeffrey A. Mazur

Administrator, AFSCME Council 72

(September 2008)