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Home Care Fight for $15 leader named White House ‘Champion of Change’


Barbara Carr is a home care worker providing essential services to the most vulnerable residents of Flint

By: SEIU Communications
Jun 29, 2016

B Carr

Barbara Carr has always been a champion for the members of her community. When she was growing up, she helped take care of her elderly neighbors, because she knew that making sure they were cared for and safe was part of building a better neighborhood. As a professional home care worker for the last 15 years, she has provided essential services to the most vulnerable residents of Flint, Mich. She joined the Home Care Fight for $15 to win higher wages and a union for all home care workers. As a member of the executive board of SEIU Healthcare Michigan, Barbara has been instrumental in her union’s response to the Flint water crisis.

Now, she’s a White House Living Wage Champion of Change.

“I’ve seen that when underpaid workers organize, we can win. Our Fight for $15 is about raising wages but what’s more, it’s about raising standards. We’re fighting for our lives. And we’re not going to let anything stand in our way. We know we can overcome any challenge by standing together,” Carr said.

For Barbara, the Home Care Fight for $15 is about more than a raise. It is about making sure her family and neighbors have clean water. It is about making sure her kids and their friends go to safe schools where they can achieve. It is about making sure families in her community aren’t struggling to get by, but have the resources to thrive. It’s also about making sure the 10,000 Americans who turn 65 every day are able to remain in their homes with independence and dignity.

Like home care workers across the country, Barbara helps her consumers with bathing, toileting, meal preparation, and keeping track of medications. Barbara also has to safeguard her consumers from poisonous, lead-contaminated water they can’t drink or use to bathe. When they couldn’t afford bottled water, Barbara, who makes just $8.50 an hour, brought water to her consumers.

Barbara knows the Fight for $15 isn’t just about money. It’s about making the fastest-growing jobs—home care, child care and fast-food—into good jobs, so people can provide for their families. As a Champion of Change, Barbara is committed to making sure all communities have a chance to thrive.

“We need higher wages. We need a clean city with water that’s not poison. We need safe schools and quality child care where our children can achieve and grow,” she said. “We need a country where every family is welcomed into the American community. We need access to affordable home care for our aging loved ones. And, we need a union so we have a voice in our economy.