The Vermont House approved a bill last week that would allow home care workers in the state to receive workplace benefits through unionization.
In an 95-41 vote, the House voted in favor of home care bill S.59, which proposes to establish a Direct Support Provider Workforce Council for the recruitment and retention of home care workers, while also allowing them to bargain collectively with the state.
The bill also outlines requirements that Vermont must establish minimum wage terms, including benefits and other terms, such as professional development and training for workers as well as health and safety conditions.
As workers who perform these services often face low wages and a lack of career benefits, the bill proposes that the establishment of a union would help protect Vermont’s direct care providers from high turnover rates, especially as the demand for home- and community-based services in only expected to increase with the aging population.
“The State of Vermont has a long-standing dedication to allowing elders and those with disabilities to receive services in their own homes and communicates, allowing them to live with dignity, independence, and choice,” writes the bill’s legislature.
Written by Jason Oliva