In the contract that the Council signed with the union representing PCAs (1199SEIU), there was a provision including 3 years of funding for a paid time off benefit. $500,000 was included for 2008, $750,000 for 2009 and $1,000,000 for 2010. Shortly after beginning negotiations on how to use this money, it became clear that the amounts available were not sufficient to support a continuing paid time off benefit for a significant number of the approximately 25,000 PCAs currently in the MassHealth system.
For this reason the Council and the union agreed to have one time payments, recognizing length and continuity of service, made to all PCAs who had worked a minimum of 1500 total hours and who also averaged at least 25 hours per week for June, July and August 2009. Under this formula, $1.25 million dollars was distributed to more than 5,000 eligible PCAs in December, 2009. The agreement provides that the same formula, geared to 2010, will be used to distribute the $1 million dollars allocated for 2010.