|Posted:||December 15, 2020 10:07 AM|
|From:||Representative Austin A. Davis|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Creating a Direct Care Worker Wage Board|
|We trust direct care workers to care for our loved ones, come into our homes, and share some of life’s most difficult challenges with us. However, these workers are among the lowest paid. A large percentage of home care workers and personal care aides in Pennsylvania are recipients of public assistance such as Medicaid and food stamps because wages are so low.
In addition to the low wages, the work is physically and emotionally demanding. Home care workers are isolated, with no common workplace, and many face language barriers that exacerbate that isolation. The poor quality of direct care jobs leads to high turnover and chronic workforce shortages.
According to the bipartisan Pennsylvania Long Term Care Council’s 2019 Blueprint for Strengthening Pennsylvania’s Direct Care Workforce, we will need an additional 36,000 direct care workers by 2026 to meet growing demand, not including existing vacancies. These workers need a pathway to make their job a career that can support their family.
To solve this problem, I will be introducing legislation that would direct the state’s Secretary of Human Services to create a Direct Care Worker Wage Board. This board would meet to set a minimum wage for direct care workers, examine ways to grow this field, hear complaints from workers, and create a registry of direct care workers in the state.
Please join me in sponsoring this legislation to support our direct care workers and show them that this Commonwealth values their contributions and hard work.
Introduced as HB611