Missouri Home Care Union launches initiative petition campaign to improve wages for critical home care attendants

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Home health care worker and an elderly woman
HOME CARE ATTENDANTS give personal care to individuals in their own homes. A new initiative petition campaign would require that in-home care service providers and consumer-directed services vendors pay their home care attendants at least 85 percent of the fees they receive from the State of Missouri for those services.

The Missouri Home Care Union has launched a new initiative petition campaign to require that in-home care service providers and consumer-directed services vendors pay their home care attendants at least 85 percent of the fees they receive from the State of Missouri for those services.

Right now, the average pay for personal care aides in Missouri is only $9.00 an hour, and the 8,000 to 9,000 home care attendants in Missouri’s consumer-directed services program earn an average of $8.60 an hour.

15 YEARS WITHOUT A RAISE

The minimum wage for CDS attendants has not risen in 15 years. The petition would allow home care workers earning $8.50 or $9.00 an hour to get a $3 or $4 an hour raise, making a real difference in their lives.

“I count on my home care attendant to help me do things I can not do myself. Her work means I can live my life in the best possible way and she needs a fair wage”, said Linda Jackson of St. Louis, who receives care through the consumer-directed services program. “We don’t do nearly enough to pay home care attendants what they deserve. This initiative petition will get us on a better track.”

VENDORS POCKET FEES

Currently, vendors in the state’s consumer-directed home care program are paid $15.56 by the state for every hour of service provided. The average vendor pays out $8.60 per hour in wages and another $1.11 per hour in fringe costs, meaning it keeps for its own administrative cost and profit an average of $5.85 for every hour of service provided. That means a typical vendor retains a whopping 38 percent of the funds the state pays into the program. For in-home care service providers, the state reimbursement rate is even higher – $17.88 for every hour of service provided.

“Attendants give very personal care to individuals in their own homes. We help with bathing, cooking, eating, dressing, cleaning getting to the store and to doctor’s appointments,” said Glenda Hutchison of Kansas City. “We do the work that matters most in the lives of our consumers yet at the end of the day we can’t meet the needs of our own families.”

The Missouri Home Care Union is launching the campaign with signature gathering drives in St. Louis and Kansas City this week, and will expand to other parts of the state throughout the fall. Signatures are due to be submitted to the Missouri Secretary of State by May 2016.

 

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