On March 1, PCA from 1199 SEIU union, consumers, advocates and legislators gathered at the union headquarters. After reminding everyone why it is so important for PCAs to earn more money, everyone marched to the new sculpture on Boston Common, the Embrace. Following that, the protest moved to the governor’s office at the State House.
PCAs need higher pay for two key reasons. First, they need to make a living wage. PCA wages are not enough to live on! Second, people with disabilities, whose lives rely on the help they get from PCAs, cannot find enough people who are willing to do this important work for such low wages. If the hourly rate can be increased by a reasonable amount, both problems could be alleviated.
Several DignityMA members were present, including Bill Henning, Priscilla O’Reilly, Lachlan Forrow, Meg Coffin and Dorothy Weisman. You can see photos from the event at MWCIL.org.
Some of the people who spoke at the rally included Becca Gutman of 1199SEIU, Bill Henning (ED of Boston Center for Independent Living), Dennis Heaphy of Boston Center for Independent Living, Senator Jamie Eldridge, Senator Mike Brady and Senator Lydia Edwards.
This event was sponsored by BCIL,1199SEIU, Disability Policy Consortium, Southeast Center for Independent Living, Our Bodies Ourselves, Ad Lib, Independence Associates, CORD, Metrowest CIL, Northeast IL Program, Center for Living and Working, Stavros, Tri-Valley Elder Services, Ethos, Mystic Valley Elder Services, Mass Senior Action Council, and the Dignity Alliance Massachusetts.