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For Immediate Release

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

12,000 Missouri Attendants Unite in Missouri Home Care Union

Victory boosts quality home care for people with disabilities, elderly

Jefferson City, MO — 

In one of the nation’s largest union elections in recent years, 12,000 Missouri home care attendants in the Consumer Directed Services program have united in the Missouri Home Care Union. The union is affiliated with both the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO (AFSCME) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

“This is a great day for home care workers and the people they serve,” said AFSCME Pres. Gerald W. McEntee. “Thousands of Missouri families rely on home care workers to help their loved ones live independent lives. We will use our combined voice to fight unnecessary cuts that threaten quality home care services.”

“This is a big step forward for home care workers in Missouri and the people they take care of. Today’s vote is about home care workers gaining a strong new voice about how to provide better care and support for their clients," said SEIU Exec. Vice Pres. Mary Kay Henry who also oversees SEIU’s health care division.

Ballots were counted today in Jefferson City. Home care attendants provide vital services – bathing, cooking, shopping, assistance getting to and from medical appointments and more – that help thousands of Missouri’s elderly and people with disabilities retain their independence, while saving taxpayers millions of dollars annually for the cost of nursing home care. With the number of elderly Missourians expected to rise by more than 70 percent in the next 20 years, the demand for home care services will skyrocket.

Missouri home care attendants join home care workers in more than 10 other states – including California, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, and Washington – who have united to improve the quality of care available to consumers. Across the country, home care worker unions have helped establish training programs, started registries to connect consumers with qualified home care workers and won increased funding for home care services while fighting budget cuts that would force thousands of consumers out of home care and into nursing homes.

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