Nevada Labor Movement Stands Behind Home Care Workers

Carson City, Nevada – Today, Nevada’s labor movement stood in solidarity with Service Employees International Union Local 1107 in support of Senate Bill 340, the Nevada Home Care Workforce Safety & Standards Act, sponsored by State Senator Dina Neal (SD-4). The bill would give workers and clients a seat at the table by creating a Nevada Home Care Employment Standards Board made up of workers, consumers, employers, and state officials to protect both employees and those in their care. The bill passed out of the Senate Finance Committee this week and will now go on to be heard by the Assembly Committee on Commerce and Labor. 

“The labor movement has always worked to center and promote the voices of our workers—now, we have the opportunity to give 13,000 home health care workers that very opportunity. These Nevadans have spent the last year facing both a pandemic and the struggle of being overworked and underpaid—and it’s time to listen to them and their needs,” said Rusty McAllister, Executive Secretary-Treasurer for Nevada AFL-CIO. “With SB340, we can provide Nevada’s home care workers with an avenue to demand better pay, training, protection, and working conditions. The Nevada AFL-CIO stands with these workers and SEIU Local 1107 in calling for the Committee on Commerce and Labor to pass this legislation and allow it a vote on the floor of the legislature.”

“Nevada’s home care workers have been on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic, often overworked, underpaid, and poorly treated,” said Beverly Williams, the Secretary-Treasurer of the Southern Nevada Central Labor Council. “We must treat these 13,000 homecare workers with the respect they deserve. To do that, we must have proper oversight of their working conditions. This legislation will create standards for these essential workers who are caring for our most vulnerable Nevadans.”

"At some point, you or a loved one has depended on home health care workers — or someday, you will,” said Mike Pilcher, President of the Northern Nevada Central Labor Council. “Our home health care workers are some of the hardest-working and most vital members of our community. Let's treat these health care workers with the respect, dignity, and appreciation they deserve. It's time to pass SB340."

Among other protections, SB340 would empower home care workers to petition the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate our working conditions and allow that board to make recommendations around pressing issues such as ensuring living wages, benefits, and job training for workers to raise standards of care.

BACKGROUND FROM SEIU 1107:

Nevada has one of the fastest-growing senior populations in the nation. The need for high-quality home care services in the Silver State is skyrocketing, but too many of the state’s 13,000 homecare workers are underpaid and exploited— conditions that have only worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. If Nevada doesn’t address this looming care crisis soon, thousands of more consumers will also be at risk.

Most of the funding for home care services in Nevada comes from taxpayer dollars flowing through the state’s Medicaid program. For too long, there has been too little transparency on how these public dollars are spent and not enough input from those on the frontlines doing the work and receiving the services. As a result, Personal Care Aides (PCAs) have been treated like second-class citizens instead of the essential healthcare workers they are.