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Minnesota Home Health Care Workers Unionize

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, home care workers across the state voted to join the Service Employees International Union, giving that organization the power to bargain on their behalf.

Nearly 27,000 of the state’s enrolled 109,000 personal care attendants were eligible to vote in the election — primarily those who work for people whose care is covered by the federal Medicaid program. Only 5,872 workers — 21 percent of those eligible — cast ballots. However, the threshold requires only a majority of ballots cast. Of those who voted, 60 percent opted to join the union.

The vote makes the United Home Care Workers the largest unit in Minnesota to seek union certification since the Wagner Act was passed in 1935. Minnesota now joins 14 other states where home care workers are represented by unions.

Workers who supported the action say unionization will usher in better training, higher pay and more stability in a notoriously high-turnover profession, which they contend will translate to better client care.

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