By Michelle Del Rey

April 14, 2022

ALBANY— After a lengthy battle over legislation that would’ve increased the minimum wage for home health aides by 150 percent, a finalized version of the state's budget is set to raise the hourly pay for those workers by $3 during a two-year period.

Beginning in October, home care workers are due to receive a $2-an-hour raise and an additional $1-an-hour increase in pay in 2023. The decision comes after a year-long aggressive campaign from advocates who rallied inside the Capitol for days on end during budget negotiations.

Currently, those workers make $13.20 an hour upstate. The increase would eventually bump their hourly pay to $16.20, still below what some regional fast food and retail outlets are paying employees.

Rachel McCullough, campaign director at NY Caring Majority [and political director at Jews for Racial & Economic Justice], a group that represents the interests of home care workers, said that the coalition is proud of the effort that was put in by activists to raise the wages for aides, while at the same time disappointed by the outcome.

"We're going to keep fighting until we get 150 percent of minimum wage," she said. "It’s the only solution to stem the shortage and the economic benefits are abundantly clear."

Read the full piece from Times Union