Troiano Fights to Maintain $1 an hour Raise for Home Healthcare Workers
During a special session of the Nassau County Legislature held on July 26, 2010 Legislator Troiano resisted an attempt to roll-back the $1.00 per hour salary increase promised to home health care workers within the Living Wage law passed by the Legislature in 2006.
The proposal to cut the $1.00 raise came on the heels of claims made by home health care agencies that they could not afford to implement the increase. This proposal pitted the interests of the 9,500 home healthcare workers in Nassau County who make an average yearly salary of $22,000 against the interests of 35 agencies; many of whom earn income in excess of $1 million a year.
Legislator Robert Troiano said, “At a time when every dollar makes a huge difference in the lives of our Home Healthcare workers, I am very pleased that the Legislature stood up and did the right thing for these workers who provide care for others at a time when they are most vulnerable. These workers are clearly deserving of this promised wage increase!”
By providing support and care for those having difficulty caring for themselves, these workers allow residents to stay in their homes. Without the care and services of these workers many residents would be forced to go to a facility for care.
The Living Wage Law was unanimously passed by the Nassau County Legislature in 2006. This law provided for a phase-in salary increase from $9.50 per hour to $12.50 over a three year span. The last $1 dollar increment is scheduled to take effect August 1, 2010. Thanks to the combined efforts of union workers and the Nassau County Legislators the $1.00 raise will take effect as promised.
Opposition to allowing the final $1per hour increase faded after health care agencies failed to prove that jobs would be lost if the $1.00 per hour raise went through. In fact, data released by the Federal Reserve indicated that the $1.00 per hour raise would have a positive economic impact.