V E N T I N G !!!

Venting present participle of vent. 1. Give free expression to (a strong emotion). 2. Provide with an outlet for air, gas, or liquid.

Today I need to let off some steam. That’s because I am so very disappointed with the State of Minnesota legislature who recently passed a new budget (after an extended state shutdown and political in-fighting) that cuts services to people with disabilities. Spending is out of control at both at the national and state levels … but what irks me is that our “leaders” choose to target those who are least able to fight for themselves. They don’t have powerful lobbying groups. They don’t have union representatives. They rely on our government’s sense of fairness, and today they are being let down.

Case in point … an impending pay cut for Personal Care Attendants in Minnesota.

A personal care attendant (PCA) is a person who physically assists with performing Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) such as mobility, bathing/grooming, dressing, passive range-of-motion exercises, taking medications, eating, and toileting; and/or Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) like laundry, shopping, housekeeping, meal preparation, transportation to medical providers, and other special needs. The goal of PCA services is to help persons with disabilities lead an independent life.

In most cases, family members provide PCA services. This is because it is often difficult to find an outsider who has the skills (or the patience) to work with the disabled individual—and who is willing to work for meager wages.

Now in its infinite wisdom, the state of MN has decided that it will institute a 20% PAY CUT for any PCA provider who is caring for a relative.

This means that if we hire a stranger to provide PCA services for Melissa they will get paid 20% more than if Kathy provides the same services. Or said another way, since Kathy is already her PCA, she will get a 20% pay cut just because she is a relative!

This is clearly DISCRIMINATION.In fact the Equal Pay Act of 1963 was instituted to prevent employers (including the government) from paying different wages for the same work. Is our government now “above the law” or simply ignoring it.

Grrrrr …




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