* Let’s hope some of these folks don’t end up in far more expensive state care…
Lisa Kotsirs can’t leave her 29 year-old epileptic autistic daughter alone in a room because she fears her daughter would harm herself. But a looming pay cut for home caretakers triggered by the ongoing state budget impasse could leave Kotsirs with a difficult decision to make.
She and her daughter, Mandy Kotsirs, took part in a news conference Monday at the E.J. “Zeke” Giorgi Center to protest state regulations that, beginning May 1, will cap overtime pay for home caretakers. That means people such as Mandy who need more than 40 hours of care a week must find multiple caretakers to juggle the task.
Mandy needs continuous care because she has severe developmental delays, sensory issues and autism. Her mother works as her personal care worker, earning $13 an hour. About 8,600 personal care workers will feel the impact of the new overtime cap and many families could be forced to place their children in state institutions, Lisa Kotsirs said.
“This [in-home care] is needed … to help have them be more independent and hopefully drastically improve quality of life,” she said. “Caring for people like my daughter is a difficult task and not many people want to do the job.”
But is it really about the impasse?
* Read on…
Home healthcare workers, like Templeton, get paid by the department of human services.
Starting May 1st they’re limited to 40 hours of work per week with some exceptions. […]
The department of human services says some people are taking advantage of the system, collecting dozens of hours in overtime pay.
The new rules mean the state will more closely review which workers earn time and a half.
* The fact that SEIU was behind yesterday’s media event suggests there’s more going on here…
Home care workers say they regularly work overtime. Now, because they’re required by law to be paid overtime, the Rauner Administration is cracking down on their hours.
Members of SEIU say the Rauner Administration’s new policy limiting hours to 40 a week doesn’t take into account what those who rely on home care workers need.
Those who need more than 40 hours a week can hire additional help under the new rules, but workers say their clients prefer people they know and trust.
“These consumers have built a repertoire with this particular person. These consumers may have disabilities that require specific needs and they may put their trust in one person. They may have worked for this person for 20 years, and now they are changing it where they have to hire someone else to come into their home and provide this assistance,” said Denise Groesch, Center for Independent Living.
There are nearly 9,000 disabled people impacted by the new overtime rules. The union representing home healthcare workers says it is an attempt by the Rauner Administration to avoid new federal rules that extend overtime to those healthcare workers.
You would expect the union to be OK with less overtime because that would mean more people (meaning more members) would have to be hired. But they’re on the side of those receiving care and the organizations providing it.
If there’s fraud, clamp down. Otherwise, why incur the expense of hiring and training more people? I’m not sure I understand this yet.