Health | Local | Vital Signs

Oregon Home Care Workers Ratify Union Contract

OPB | July 30, 2012 6:22 a.m. | Updated: June 7, 2013 10:22 a.m. | Portland

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More than 98 percent of Oregon home-care workers have voted to ratify a new union contract with the state.

For the first time, the contract covers 7500 caregivers who work with people with mental-health issues and developmental disabilities.

Rebecca Sandoval is a caregiver who was on the Service Employees International bargaining team.

She says workers agreed to a pay freeze. In exchange, the state kept their health-insurance plan.

“We were afraid that since home-care workers make so little money – we make $10.20 an hour – that if there were a premium-share, that people would just drop the insurance because they couldn’t afford it,” says Sandoval.

The union and the state have been negotiating the contract for more than a year.  It covers more than 18,000 workers.

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