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Rep. Fattah Stands Up for Workers, Supports Governor Rendell’s Executive Order on Home Health Aides

Rep. Fattah Stands Up for Workers, Supports Governor Rendell’s Executive Order on Home Health Aides

WASHINGTON D.C., Sept. 24 — Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) today expressed strong support for Governor Ed Rendell’s action to protect homecare attendants in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Executive Order 2010-04 will give homecare workers the ability to organize, fight for fair wages and gain access to health benefits, in addition to reducing turnover as a means to stabilize the workforce and improve care.

“Ed Rendell has shown  real courage and true grit, standing up for the working people of Pennsylvania in the home care industry and at the same time doing what’s right for the senior citizens and people with disabilities who require home care,” Fattah said.

“The Governor has given voice to those consumers who require homecare, as well as those who provide it. And he has stood up to the special interests in long-term care facilities that are draining public and private resources while they drive up healthcare costs.”

A long-time ally of Pennsylvania’s workers, Fattah said he supports Governor Rendell’s plan to promote the consumer-employer model of homecare, the most cost-effective practice for taxpayers, by creating Consumer Workforce Council, comprised of seniors and people with disabilities who employ their own attendants.

Pennsylvania currently faces a critical shortage of direct caregivers, estimated at 10,000 people. Homecare attendants are underpaid, and they often lack benefits and insurance.

Fattah praised the Service Employees International Union for its organizing efforts directed at homecare workers. He emphasized the importance of homecare attendants whom he called “the frontline of care” for the state’s most vulnerable residents. “We are entrusting these workers with significant, serious responsibility. They deserve the respect equal to the responsibly they bear. It is a grave injustice to learn that individuals providing healthcare to the state’s elderly and disabled lack access to healthcare benefits themselves.”

Fattah added, “Governor Rendell may be in his final months in office but he is on top of his game, still finding creative solutions for difficult problems facing working people across the Commonwealth.”

Contact Ron Goldwyn 215-387-6404 or ron.goldwyn@mail.house.gov

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