Union vote begins among home health care workers

(Screenshot from video by Howard Kling) Home care workers filed for a union election in July.

Some 26,000 home health care workers across Minnesota are voting this month whether to join a union.

The Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services mailed ballots Aug. 1 to eligible voters. They are defined as "personal care assistants and other home care workers providing direct support services through client-directed Medicaid programs including PCA Choice, Consumer Directed Community Supports (CDCS), and Consumer Support Grants."

All ballots must be returned to the Bureau office no later than August 25. Ballots will be counted August 26 in what will be the largest union election in Minnesota history.

If a majority of those voting choose to unionize, they will be represented by SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, which currently is the union for more than 15,000 healthcare workers in hospitals, clinics and nursing homes throughout Minnesota. It is part of the Service Employees International Union, which has 1.2 million members in the health care industry nationwide.

(Video by Howard Kling, Labor Education Service, University of Minnesota)

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