550,000 Names Support Health Workers' Ballot Question

Jul 6, 2012

A campaign to guarantee union bargaining rights for home health care workers says it will turn in more than half a million signatures to get on the statewide ballot.

The measure would also require background checks for home health aides, and set up a registry for them.Home care assistants help seniors and people with disabilities who are on Medicaid remain in their homes. Often they are family members of the people they’re taking care of.

Don Hoyle is the treasurer of Citizens for Affordable Quality Home Care. He says there was a pilot program in Michigan to create a registry and require training and background checks for home health aides before it was de-funded by the Legislaure. He says that care deserves protection in the state constitution.

“We think that the right of people to live in their own home is one of those things that ought to be protected," Hoyle says. "We think the right of people to get the kind of supports they need to be healthy and safe is something that needs to be protected.”

Opponents of the ballot drive say it’s an effort by unions to tap into Medicaid for membership dues.