Thousands of in-home healthcare providers in Minnesota voted to create their own union, the state announced Tuesday after tallying the results.
With the union now authorized, the Service Employees International Union, which organized the election, can negotiate with the state for wages and benefits for the estimated 27,000 eligible workers. About 60% of the roughly 5,800 voters who cast ballots approved unionization, the Bureau of Mediation Services said.
Union supporters who care for sick, elderly and disabled patients in their own homes celebrated the creation of their new union as a sign that better pay is on the horizon.
"We are now not invisible. We are 26,000 strong," said Debra Howze, a home care worker in north Minneapolis. The state has to "deal with a force to be reckoned with," she said.