Gov. Walz Spends a Day With PCA, Calls For Higher
Home Care Worker Wages
Governor Tim Walz spent the day with a home care worker this week. As part of his, “Walk-a-day with an HHA” initiative the governor is drawing attention to a profession that is needed to keep Minnesotans with disabilities in their homes.
Gov. Walz spent the day helping PCA Deb Howze take care of her patient, Jay. The governor helped Deb with her daily duties, including helping Jay get up the stairs, get dressed for the day, and take his medications. Jay is an Army veteran with Multiple sclerosis. He’s one of thousands of Minnesotans that need a home health aide to help him with daily tasks. Jay is dependent on Deb’s help to stay in his home with his wife and kids.
There are currently more than 8,000 job opening from home care workers across the state. And there are thousands of Minnesotans who are waiting for a home health aide.
But as Deb points out to Gov. Walz, it’s hard to survive on a PCA’s wage. “Of course $13.25 an hour is not enough to pay my bills and I am a single person,” Howze told Walz and WCCO.
Pay for home health aids recently increased from $12 to $13.25 an hour. Even with these wage increases, many Minnesotans still wait for someone to help them live with dignity.
“This is a compassionate state, we’ve got people willing to do this. I say this all the time about our budgets, they’re not fiscal documents, they are moral documents. They are a reflection of our values,” Walz told WCCO. “I think you are going to see these folks coming back and asking us, asking Minnesotans to make an investment in this profession, to make an investment in Jay’s quality of life.”
The governor hopes highlighting what home health workers do will help them earn a more appropriate living wage.