Does your PCA need additional training to enhance their ability to perform their job?
Would you like to encourage your PCA to learn new skills?
Check out the Homecare Training Benefit – Skills Workshops for PCAs!!
Workshops are free for working PCAs; and offered in convenient locations statewide
Topics and content were generated from Consumer and PCA surveys and focus groups
Language interpretation is available
- Adult First Aid/CPR
- Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care
- Blood borne Pathogens
- Body Mechanics
- Communications and Boundary Setting
- Medication Safety
- Nutrition & Diabetes
- To register, call: 877-409-8283; or email: infoMA@1199funds.org
Contract Benefit Funds Paid to PCAs
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.
GROUNDBREAKING! COUNCIL & 1199SEIU SIGN FIRST LABOR AGREEMENT
In November, 2008, the Workforce Council and members of 1199SEIU, the union representing PCAs, ratified the first ever labor agreement on behalf of the PCA work force. After several months of bargaining, the parties were able to agree on a three year contract that provides wage increases and puts in place structures that can begin the process of providing benefits for PCAs.
Effective July 2008, the wage for PCAs is raised from $10.84 an hour to $11.60. By the end of the three year contract, which expires in June 2011, the hourly wage earned by a PCA will be $12.48 (see sidebar on wages). The contract also provides for a committee to study options for providing health care benefits to PCAs. Once the study is completed, negotiations on the question of health benefits will begin again. The contract includes limited funds to pay for time off for some PCAs. The parties have yet to work out a formula on how to utilize these funds.
In addition to the higher wages, which should attract more people to work as PCA's, the contract upholds the original statue language of consumer control regarding hiring, training, and management of each individual consumer's PCAs. The contract also prohibits the filing of grievances against consumers by PCAs.
Members of the Council and representatives of 1199SEIU are in the process of forming a labor management committee that will continue building the type of relationship that will strengthen both the PCA workforce and benefit consumers. As Liz Casey, a member of the Council bargaining team said, "Achieving a contract for PCAs is an historic & hard-won accomplishment for caregivers and consumers. By coming together, these two groups have shown their real strength."
- Text of 2008 Labor Agreement file size 1MB (PDF) l (RTF)
Wage Increases Provided for in the New PCA Labor Agreement
Effective July 1, 2016, the PCA wage rate will be $14.12 per hour.
Effective July 1, 2017, the PCA wage rate will be $14.56 per hour.
Effective July 1, 2018, the PCA wage rate will be $15.00 per hour.
Guidelines for Union Organizing In The Homes Of Consumers
- A consumer’s home is a place of work for a PCA. Organizing activities should not distract the PCA from meeting the needs of the consumer.
- When the consumer is at home, there should be only one visit to the home.
- A consumer’s refusal to admit or talk to an organizer is final and must be respected.
- The purpose of an organizing visit to the home of a consumer should be limited to:
- Leaving written materials for the PCA(s)
- Asking the PCA if there is a convenient time to reach them outside of work hours.
- The consumer must always be treated in a polite and respectful manner