Democratic lawmakers aim to raise wages for home health care workers following report of shortage
Some Democratic lawmakers are calling to raise the wages of home health care workers following a report showing a greater demand for them.
Westchester resident Geri Mariano has diastrophic dwarfism and talked to News 12 from her bed because she can't get up and take care of herself after losing one of her home health care workers. She says it's hard to find one because the job doesn't pay well.
A state report shows there is now a greater demand for home care workers to keep patients out of nursing homes because of COVID-19.
In Westchester, they get paid at minimum wage at $14 an hour. That puts them at poverty level -- with an income of about $28,000 a year.
Some state and local officials announced Tuesday that they are launching a the "Fair Pay For Home Care" campaign to address the home care worker shortage and pass new legislation that will help them receive higher wages.
"If we don't center care, this economy will never grow again and will never thrive again and will never move forward," said Rep. Jamaal Bowman.
"This is opportunity to make sure that we are paying people fairly and that we incentivize them, that this is a profession people can choose to be in," says Sen. Shelley Mayer.
The new "act" would bump the annual income for home care workers in the area to $35,000 a year.
State lawmakers hope to introduce this legislation within the next two weeks.