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Homecare Workers

January 21, 1988

I am writing this in response to the story that Local 434 of the Service Employees International Union is suing to have the county designated the employer of the homecare workers (Metro, Jan. 1).

Designating the county as the employer of the homecare workers would further diminish what little control and independence the disabled and blind recipients/employers have over their lives now. Most of these workers are concerned and very capable, but unfortunately some are not.

Therefore, it is fundamental that the recipients of the services have as much control over who will be and who will not be employed in their homes, and this should not be left up to the bureaucracy or the union.

The remark by union spokesman Kirk Adams, "It makes no sense that an 82-year-old person with Alzheimer's disease is the employer of record," is an attempt by him to distort the truth that the overwhelming majority of the recipients are younger and are self-directing and fully capable of managing their own affairs.

There are problems with the homecare program that should be faced by those who are running the program, such as health care and the level of pay. Many of these problems are a result of the unrealistic approach taken by both state and county officials. These officials are incapable or unwilling to tackle the major issues that the disabled encounter in the home.

It surely is not Local 434 of SEIU that will be the solution; it will only add to the problem.

There ought to be some remedy whereby the disabled and blind, those most affected by the homecare program, are brought into the decision-making process because they must live with the consequences.

ROBERT SULLIVAN

Downey

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