Home health care workers want higher wages and unions

health care wage increase town hall meeting - Credit: Samuel Johnson

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Home health care workers are rallying for living wages. In Tampa Wednesday, industry workers spoke up and announced they are looking for union representation to aid them in the fight. Home health care workers are fed up with providing life sustaining services while remaining near poverty level.

This bottom up surge for a living wage is being staged not only in Tampa but throughout the country. Although done out of a love of their job, keeping your head above the rising tide of debt is paramount to making ends meet. Grace Overton is a nurse who comes from a family of health care workers and she loves her job. She says keeping motivated health care workers on the payroll comes with a price.

The more than 100 people who squeezed into the Seminole Heights Public Library conference room, echoed one overarching theme: the formation of a union. The grassroots advocacy group, Fight for 15, which champions a $15 minimum hourly wage for fast food employees, organized the town hall meeting. Representatives from unions where on hand to educate and recruit. Ann Buckner, a home care worker, is employed at five different agencies and logs more than 200 hours a week. She understands the value of unions.

There were also a couple of Tampa City Council members on hand to show their support for unions and higher minimum wage for home health care workers. All the speakers like council member Yvonne Yolie Capin, the motivations for their support were deeply personal.

Another rally will be held on April 15 in support of $15 an hour minimum wage and union formation.