Workers at Addus HealthCare, Inc., ratified a one-year agreement this week with a higher turnout than had been seen for years. When the ballots were counted, a whopping 98.7% of members had approved the contract, which included raises, no cuts in health insurance, and increases in the mileage reimbursement rate, among other improvements.
Addus workers at the top steps for Housekeeping and Personal Care Aides will get a $.20 raise effective Aug. 1, and Step 1 Housekeepers who were at minimum wage will also get a $.20 increase. All other workers will receive a $.15 wage increase.
There was a slight increase in the mileage reimbursement rate and for the first time, workers will be paid for driving so-called “errand” miles authorized for their client. Also, Addus workers with 10 or more years of experience will receive a $200 longevity bonus effective Jan. 1, 2013.
Along with no cuts to healthcare coverage, there was a 52% increase during bargaining in the number of Addus workers enrolled for insurance coverage.
The contract also provides for a $.25 per hour differential for all CNAs doing housekeeping or personal care aide work, creating a a first time professional development recognition.
There is now historic language to guarantee binding arbitration, meaning that if the parties don’t reach an agreement through contract negotiations, things will be resolved through a neutral third-party judge to make sure there is a fair settlement process.
Finally, the contract requires Addus to supply task lists before workers begin work, improves union rights for orientations, commits to labor-management policy work and allows lost time pay for any hours bargaining team members would have been paid for taking care of clients while they were at the bargaining table.