Homecare workers win $15 and consumers win quality care improvements!

Our member-elected, member-run homecare bargaining team has made history by winning a path to $15 for over 20,000 Oregon Homecare workers!

Workers’ current base wage of $13.75 will increase to $14.00 January 1, 2016 and then $14.50 February 1, 2017—and workers who complete seven employer-paid training classes with first aid and CPR will also receive a $0.50/hr training certification differential (see below for more details).

This historic victory belongs to all of us. In 1999, Oregon Homecare workers had no union, no voice on the job, and no ability to make a living. Many of us earned less than minimum wage. We were considered “domestic servants.” Sixteen short years and lots of collective action later, our work is coming out of the shadows. Our consumers have increased support to live their lives with dignity and autonomy, and we workers can survive and provide for our families.

These huge victories have made us the target of some out-of-state, anti-public-services groups like the Freedom Foundation. They are trying to weaken our union by encouraging care providers to drop their membership, but homecare workers are showing them that we know better. If this historic win has showed us anything, it’s that our strength is our membership, and through our strength, we can move mountains!

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CONTRACT SETTLEMENT DETAILS

Fair Wages to Recruit and Retain Quality Providers

  • Four year contract July 1, 2015- June 30, 2019, with a wage reopener in 2017.
  • The base rate will increase from $13.75 to $14.00 effective January 1, 2016.
  • The base rate will again increase to $14.50, effective February 1, 2017.
  • Providers making above $13.75/hr will receive 1% COLAs January 1, 2016 and February 1, 2017. This is a huge win considering the State’s initial proposal was to cut these providers down to base rate.
  • New Training Certification Differential that’s $0.50/hr effective January 1, 2017.

Fair Labor Standards Act

  • All Hours Worked- APD live-in providers will be paid for at least 16 hours a day starting in January 2016. APD Live-in providers are currently only paid an average of 9 hours a day.
  • State minimum wage- Many APD live-in providers have been making an average wage that is less than state minimum wage. Starting January 1, 2016 all APD live-in providers make at least state minimum wage.
  • Hours Cap- The State wanted to establish a cap limiting the total number of hours a provider can work per week. We were not going to agree to any type of worker hours cap until the State also has to implement overtime. The State agreed to back off of their weekly hours cap proposal until the overtime requirement is resolved in the courts.
  • Paid Travel Time- Starting January 1, 2016 providers can be paid for their travel time directly between clients at the base rate.

Fair Shot Legislative Wins

  • We helped pass House Bill 2960 which sets-up up a new state retirement option that will allow providers to have a secure way to save for retirement. The plan will be operational in 2017.
  • We also helped pass Senate Bill 454 which expands the Paid Time-Off benefit to 5 days a year for qualifying hourly workers.

Payroll System Changes

  • The State wanted to require all providers to use the online timesheet system immediately. We were able to get this requirement delayed until July 2016 to give more time for training.
  • Knowing that not all providers have access to the internet, we won language that workers without access to the internet continue to have a way to submit paper timesheets.

A Stronger Voice for Providers to Advocate for Quality

  • Advocating for Consumer Services- we protected language in our contract that guarantees consumer services/hours will not be reduced as a result of improvements won for providers.

Rights & Respect

  • Issues Committee- We created a Joint Issues Committee for Homecare and Personal Support Workers.
  • Worker Credentials- Providers will be better notified in advance of when they need to renew their background check or Provider Enrollment Agreement including a 120 and 60 day reminder.

 

Learn more about the benefits and changes that will impact you. Click here to read about specific contract changes for homecare worker categories including APD providers, DD providers, independent contractors, and more.

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