Local disability organizations held a rally in Boston on Wednesday. They demanded higher wages and working conditions for personal care attendants. More than 100 PCAs and others who rely on them marched from the 32BJ SEIU union hall to The Embrace statue on Boston Common.
Attendees then went into the State House to deliver a letter with demands to Gov. Maura Healey’s office. The governor is being urged to raise the PCA hourly wage to $25, enhance benefits and retirement security, and boost work training for career growth.
The MassHealth program offers funds for people with disabilities to hire attendants to help them with daily living activities. Activities of daily living include getting out of bed, dressing, taking medication, and eating.
The program currently has more than 40,000 participants, up from about 3,000 in the early 1990s. People with physical disabilities including Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, and Muscular Dystrophy can benefit from PCA services.
I am one of the thousands of Massachusetts residents who rely on the PCA program. I’ve been receiving PCA services for over a decade. In 2020, I moved out of my parent’s home. Without the PCA program, this wouldn’t have been possible.
All disabled people deserve to be a part of their community, and the proper support allows us to do that. We need to fix the shortage now because people’s lives depend on it. For millions of people worldwide, care can’t wait.
Smith, Meghan. “’Fighting for My Life’: Disability Advocates Call for Higher Wage for PCAS.” WGBH, WGBH Educational Foundation, 2 Mar. 2023, https://www.wgbh.org/news/local-news/2023/03/02/fighting-for-my-life-disability-advocates-call-for-higher-wage-for-pcas.
Smith, Meghan. “Disability Community Mourns the Death of ‘Fierce’ Advocate Paul Spooner.” WGBH, WGBH Educational Foundation, 11 Oct. 2022, https://www.wgbh.org/news/local-news/2022/10/11/disability-community-mourns-the-death-of-fierce-advocate-paul-spooner?fbclid=IwAR392C0olYB88rjGUDu_JI_nq5Bp4bsIDdE-AR3yMUeG4Tdn4u7PhKgiOr0