Olympia, Wash. – Washington state home care workers today stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Illinois following today’s opinion issued by the U.S. Supreme Court in Harris v. Quinn.
“We have fought for more than a decade to create a long-term care system that provides dignity and quality care to both seniors and people with disabilities, plus workers like me,” said Sylvia Liang, a home care worker from Seattle, and a member of SEIU 775. “We are fired up and ready to work with Washington state officials to ensure that our successful home care program will be protected from this extremist attack.”
Harris v. Quinn was brought by the National Right to Work Foundation, an extremist group, and is the latest in a decades-long attack on the rights of working people to join together to improve their jobs and the quality of services they provide.
It’s unclear how the Court’s ruling will impact home care clients and workers in Washington, if at all. The Illinois Medicaid home care personal assistant program is very different from the Washington Individual Provider program. Washington state has a more robust collective bargaining model through which workers have won a number of benefits.
In Washington, SEIU 775 represents more than 40,000 caregivers. This growing workforce is vital to providing quality care for seniors. One in five Washington residents will be 65 or older by 2030, according to statistical trends.