On July 12, just a couple weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposal to to stop home care workers from contributing their own wages to support their union in the same way teachers, police officers and firefighters do.
This transparent political attempt to interfere with home care workers’ freedom to stand together in their union and advocate for higher wages, skilled training, and basic benefits also undermines quality home care for older Americans and people with disabilities.
Melody Benjamin, a Chicago home care worker and member of SEIU Healthcare Illinois/Indiana, was among the thousands of workers, home care consumers, allies and advocates who spoke out against the proposed rule.
Despite a condensed 30-day public comment period, we sent a loud and clear message to the Trump administration: we will not be silenced and we stand together in fighting for quality home care services and jobs.
On behalf of hundreds of thousands of home care workers —and countless more Americans who can live with dignity at home thanks to their hard work and compassion,— we thank you.Thousands of people from across the country spoke up to oppose the proposed rule, sharing what’s at stake for workers, consumers and loved ones, and the future of quality home care people can count on.
Here are just a few highlights:
“Home care workers (a workforce mostly comprised of women of color) have come so far in legitimizing our occupation for our consumers and ourselves—and we’ve done it through our own hard work and determination by coming together in our unions.”
Home care worker and member of SEIU Local 503
“We’ve increased wages, which helps my ability to attract workers, and we’ve gained educational opportunities which make my caregivers more qualified for their daily job of preserving my life.”
40 year home care consumer
West St. Paul, MN
“For too many years, these women have given all to support the lives, the health and dignity of other families. They deserve the respect of honoring they freely make to claim their power and exercise their voice on behalf of their own families.”
Right Reverend Dr. John L. Selders, Jr.
Amistad United Church of Christ, Hartford, CT