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Cheating Dignity: The Direct Care Wage Crisis in America

Table of Contents
  1. Introduction
  2. What is the Price of Dignity?
  3. How Do We Value Dignity?
  4. Who Cares? Worker Supply and Demand
  5. Wage Rates:...And Could We Care Less?
  6. Wage Comparisons: You Get What You Pay For
  7. Conclusion: We Can Alleviate This Crisis
  8. Appendix 1: Benefit Eligibility
  9. Footnotes

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) commissioned this report from the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI) of the South Bronx, New York. The report was prepared by Steven L. Dawson of PHI, with Ann Kempski and Sally Tyler of AFSCME’s Public Policy Department. Much of the analysis incorporated within this report relies heavily on “Direct-Care Health Workers: The Unnecessary Crisis in Long-Term Care,” authored by PHI for the Domestic Strategy Group of the Aspen Institute, Washington, D.C., January, 2001. Adapted with permission from the Aspen Institute. Data collection and analysis for this report was performed for PHI primarily by Susan Harmuth, Division of Facility Services, North Carolina Department of Human Services. Graphic design services provided by Marcelle Fozard of Big Dog Studios, Takoma Park, MD.

AFSCME is a union representing 1.3 million workers throughout the United States. PHI staffs the Direct Care Alliance, an advocacy voice representing consumers, workers and concerned providers to create both quality jobs and quality care in the long-term care sector.

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