At a February 26th press conference, SEIU Exec Board member and MN State Representative Patti Fritz introduced a bill that would increase long term care funding and enable nursing home workers to receive a long-overdue raise. Backed by a bi-partisan group of legislators including SEIU-endorsed GOP State Rep. Jim Abeler, the bill would provide nursing home workers with their first real raise in over six years.
Bill HF 886/ SF 792 would:
- Increase nursing home pay rates by 5% in October 2013, with a second wage increase of another 5% in October 2014.
- All nursing homes will receive at least a 3% increase with an additional 1-2% based on their progress towards certain quality program goals.
- For all rate increases, 73% or more must be dedicated towards new wages and benefits for front line caregivers.
SEIU Healthcare Minnesota member Louise Duffee, an RNA from Texas Terrace, spoke alongside Rep. Fritz at the hearing. Duffee spoke about having a smaller paycheck than she did six years ago and the problem of short staffing in nursing homes across the state. She shared about one night in particular she recalled on the job:
“Down one hall, I faced two flashing call lights and down the other hall, I saw eight more flashing call lights. I was left to handle all ten lights by myself.”
Now Louise and Patti need your help. Contact your legislator and ask them to support HF 886/ SF 792. You can find you legislator and their contact info at www.gis.leg.mn/OpenLayers/districts.