Friday, January 27, 2006

Smart Strategy or Pact With the Devil?

SEIU, Addus to sign national pact
Chicago Sun-Times

The Service Employees International Union is set to sign a national collective bargaining agreement with Palatine-based Addus HealthCare today, the first of its kind for the union, to negotiate non-economic issues for the company's home care aides.

The agreement between the nation's biggest union of home care workers and one of the country's largest home care companies covers roughly 7,800 workers, according to the company, and includes a neutrality arrangement whereby Addus agrees to remain neutral in SEIU organizing campaigns.

The workers serve seniors and people with disabilities who need assistance with daily living activities, such as bathing, housekeeping and cooking, and who receive Medicaid and state funding.

Pay and benefits will continue to be negotiated at the local level under the agreement. But issues such as work rules and grievances will be handled nationally, said union and Addus representatives.

Under the agreement, Addus home care aides will team with the company to lobby for increased funding for home care through political action. Workers will get paid time off to participate in Lobby Days, the union said.

Both the union's members and the company benefit if reimbursement rates are raised.


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