Minnesota personal care assistants get pay raises

Friday, Gov. Tim Walz announced pay raises and other new benefits for personal care assistant (PCA) workers in Minnesota, starting this month.

The statewide minimum wage for PCAs has now moved from $13.25 to $14.40 per hour and will increase again to $15.25 on July 1, 2022.

"Personal care assistants help Minnesotans with disabilities live fulfilling and independent lives, and I’ve had the privilege of seeing firsthand just how hard that work can be," Walz said. "The Minnesotans who dedicate their lives to this important work are heroes, and I am proud that this wage increase helps recognize the vital role they play in the lives of people across the state."

The pay bump comes after the state and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) reached an agreement during the 2021 legislative session. The state says the agreement will help address a variety of challenges faced by PCAs and organizations that manage their work that have contributed to a PCA workforce shortage.

Other new benefits include:
An hour of paid time off for every 30 hours an individual provider works,
An increase in the number of paid holidays from five to seven,
Funding for the Minnesota Department of Human Services to continue working with SEIU on voluntary training opportunities.

"The more than 40,000 PCAs working in our state are a lifeline for people with disabilities and essential for them to live active lives in their communities," Human Services Assistant Commissioner Gertrude Matemba-Mutasa said. "We hope improved pay and benefits can help draw more talented people into this critical profession."