BURNSVILLE, Minn. - Monday was a milestone holiday for home health care workers.
They received their first holiday pay as a result of their union's second contract with the state.
Yasmine Soud-Reynolds is among the 27,000 home health care workers in Minnesota who now get paid time-and-a-half if they work on a holiday. It’s all thanks to the union’s second contract with the state, which took effect July 1.
“I love that I get to help care for somebody who can’t care for themselves,” Soud-Reynolds said. “I don’t look at the money aspect of it, I look at just always trying to help. Like I said, if I wasn’t getting holiday pay I would be working anyway.”
Delores Flynn said her son, Scott, needs care 24/7 after suffering a brain hemorrhage 16 years ago. Soud-Reynolds is one of several workers who care for him.
Flynn said not all employees are willing to work on holidays, so she appreciates the extra incentive. Coupled with the time-and-a-half pay, the new contract increases the minimum wage for the workers to $12 an hour.
“Taking care of people is a profession that is not acknowledged enough. People look at it like you are a glorified babysitter and that is not what it is,” Flynn said. “If someone wasn’t with him at all times he could die.”
The home health care workers now have five holidays throughout the year where they are eligible for time-and-a-half.