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Mo. in-home health care workers to unionize

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – In-home health care workers in Missouri have voted overwhelmingly to unionize.

They care for homebound elderly and disabled Missourians, performing such tasks as cooking, cleaning, and bathing.

Nearly 85 percent of them voted "yes" to being represented by the new Missouri Home Care Union.

Threasa Bach of Salem is one of those workers.

"The consumers and I will be able to have our voices heard about what we need in the homes as we do our day-to-day work," Bach said.

Carolyn Klinglesmith is Campaign Director for the new Missouri Home Care Union.

"There's a 10-day period after the election, and then the certification happens if there are no challenges or issues," Klingelsmith said.

The new union is a joint venture of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

It will negotiate wages and benefits with the Missouri Quality Homecare Council.

The Council is now the official employer for all in-home health care workers following last year's approval of a ballot measure.

Any agreements reached between the union and the council will then have to be approved by lawmakers.