Caregivers want legislation to allow union

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Workers who provide home care to the elderly and disabled say they want to form a union, but they’ll need legislation passed to allow them to organize.

Dozens of state-subsidized personal care assistants announced their effort today at an event in St. Paul. They were joined by officials from the Service Employees International Union. Karen Urman of Mounds View, who cares for her adult son, said the profession needs a strong voice at the state Capitol.

“As home care workers, we deserve to be heard,” Urman said. “We deserve to be respected as workers, and our work deserves to be recognized as real work. Most importantly, we deserve the same right as all other workers to form a union.”

Organizers said they have not yet talked to any legislators about a bill. SEIU was involved last year in the failed unionization effort among state-subsidized child care providers. Gov. Mark Dayton tried to authorize that vote via executive order, but a judge blocked the effort in response to a lawsuit from union opponents.

Jamie Gulley, president of SEIU Health Care Minnesota, stressed that this a very different campaign.

“There is no reluctance within SEIU,” Gulley said. “This has been done in other states. We’re very, very confident.”

  • Chad Quigley

    Yeah, let’s unionize these workers so our taxes go up to provide for increased costs associated with the unionization and so they can go on strike when they don’t get what they want. Are we going to unionize babysitters next? Hopefully that money tree I planted will start producing so I can pay for this.

  • Jim Bendtsen

    Unfortunately, as usual, neither MPR nor SEIU is honest about this story or issue. marx dayton tried to FORCE daycare providers to be unionized, not allow them to join voluntarily. If a daycare or homecare provider wants to join a union, they should have that choice. IF THEY DON’T, THEY SHOULD HAVE THE SAME CHOICE. If you’re going to put out a story, tell the WHOLE story.

  • linda

    Mr. Chad. I am a caregiver of my son who has a spinal cord injury he has no movement from the neck down.. i take care of him 24/7 and get paid for 30 hours a week. he can not be left alone as any thing could happen. it would cost thousands and thousand of tax payers money to put him in a nursing home with the amount of care he needs. i don’t get paid for all the hours i am with him nor do i expect to. i get no benefits no sick time no over time no holiday pay nothing.. but i am saving your pennies…its hard but very rewarding work. the people are able to stay at home and have a happier safer and healthier life’s. so again we safe money form medical cost because no bed sores. and other illness is avoided by not being in a nursing home..if they do get sick and in the hospital we don’t get paid if they get any sort of therapy no pay.. it takes a wonderful strong unselfish person to give up jobs and there life’s to take care of someone who can’t take care of there self.. according to the state my son is able to be left alone for 10 hours a day. how do you leave someone 10 hours with out care. you don’t..