Unionizing seems to have paid off for 35.000 Home Care workers in Massachusetts. However, Home Care workers are not the only ones who want to reach this hourly wage.
While Republican Governor Charlie Barker has announced a new deal that promises to raise the hourly pay of home care workers to $15, other states are discussing measures that could enable the increase of the minimum wage standard to the same amount.
On May 19, 2015 the Los Angeles City Council has backed a plan to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020. The ordinance would help Californian citizens, who are currently earning $9 an hour, by proving them with the means to support their families while holding only one job.
Fast Food workers and many other people demand the same hourly pay. They argue that the dollars buying power was drastically affected by inflation, which barely allows them to live from what the make, even if they hold two jobs, let alone one.
The argument for the $15 dollar an hour minimum wage seems to be backed up by even the most basic research. If you take into account the lack of job opportunities on the U.S. market on one hand and then compare the demand for highly educated employees to the number of job seekers who own a bachelor degree or more on the other hand, it becomes obvious that many households have to live on the pay of a single family member.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers a CPI inflation calculator which can compare the buying power of the dollar between different years. According to the Labor Bureau’s own inflation calculator, the $15 dollar an hour wage that many employees are demanding now is equivalent to a $5.20 pay from 1980.
This gives validity to the employees’ concerns that the increases in U.S standard salaries are lagging behind the inflation and buying power problems that affected U.S. currency especially in the last 25 years.
The Massachusetts health care workers who will receive the benefits of the new $15 dollar agreement are different from any other members of the Pay Rise Movements however, because they are already unionized. Therefore, they can make their demands more easily negotiable at state level rather than depending on private company policy.
Nevertheless, it remains unclear at the moment what will happen exactly to the Massachusetts home care workers who are not unionized and who do not work within the Medicaid system.
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