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CHCA, New York, NY

chca
Cooperative Home Care Associates (CHCA) is a home health care services agency licensed by the New York State Department of Health, to provide paraprofessional services for elders and individuals living with physical disabilities in New York City. More than 1,600 home care workers are currently employed by CHCA, 98 percent of whom are Latina or African-American women. As a worker-owned cooperative, CHCA offers all employees the opportunity to purchase an equal ownership stake in the business. Today, CHCA is one of the largest private-sector employers located in the South Bronx and one of the largest women-and-minority-owned businesses in New York City.

chcaHistory

In 1985, federal Medicare policy began encouraging hospitals to increase their service-capacity by arranging for the full convalescence of patients in their own homes. However, New York City's home care system was poorly prepared to offer quality care for this substantial influx of new patients, including many with illnesses that were not previously managed at home. Simultaneously, most home health aides assigned to provide services for these clients received poor quality jobs, characterized by: low wages, few benefits, part-time hours, as well as inadequate training and support.

CHCA's two co-founders believed that a critical strategy for providing clients with quality home care services was improving the quality of jobs provided to home health aides. Therefore, CHCA was established in 1985 with the goal of creating a model home health care company, dedicated to achieving three critical goals:

 

Key Achievements

Quality Jobs

Opportunity

CHCA's employees are invited to purchase an ownership stake in the cooperative, which offers the following additional benefits: 1) annual dividends, based on the company's profits; 2) free income tax preparation services; and 3) the right to participate in elections for 8 of 13 positions on the Board of Directors.


In 2007, the New York City Human Resources Administration awarded CHCA a significant contract to provide 400 Bronx residents with home care services—and awarded CHCA a second such contract in 2010, to provide 400 Brooklyn residents with home care services.

chcaFactors in CHCA's Success:


In addition to providing home health aides with quality jobs, CHCA attributes its success to several key factors:

Union Representation

In 2003, 1199SEIU—the world's largest union local, which represents more than 300,000 health care workers in New York State, Maryland, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia—organized CHCA's home care workers, as part of a broader effort to unionize all home health aides working in New York City.

As 1199SEIU members, our home care workers have access to a Member Assistance Fund, which offers bereavement counseling as well as support in resolving alcohol or substance abuse addictions, landlord/tenant disputes, or parenting challenges. CHCA also contributes to 1199SEIU's Education Fund, to provide our home care workers with tuition-free assess to a range of continuing education classes, including: English-as-a-Second Language Course, General Equivalency Diploma, computer skills, and nursing courses offered by the City University of New York.

Replication of CHCA's Model:

CHCA's achievements have also inspired the creation of additional home care agencies, structured as worker-cooperatives, in Philadelphia, Wisconsin, and California. PHI—an affiliated non-profit organization created by the leaders of CHCA in 1993—have also disseminated CHCA's innovative compensation and workforce development practices to other key stakeholder groups within the nation's long-term care sector, including: consumer organizations, unions, government agencies, training providers and "high road" healthcare employers who recognize the critical linkage between job quality for direct-care workers and quality long-term care services for their clients.

 

Cooperative structure

Cooperative Home Care Associates (CHCA) has been a worker-owned cooperative since 1985.

After three months of employment, CHCA schedules all home health aides and administrative staff members to attend a three-hour workshop about purchasing an ownership stake in the cooperative—which begin with a brief overview of such businesses. To become a worker-owner, employees authorize deductions totaling $50 from their paycheck during a two-to-five week period, as a down-payment toward a $1,000 equity stake in the business. CHCA then provides employees with a no-interest loan of $950, which is repaid through small weekly payroll deductions of $3.65. Through this process, CHCA provides employees with all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of worker-ownership after contributing only $50—including: 1) dividends, based on our annual profits; 2) free income tax preparation services; and 3) one vote in elections for 8 of 13 members on CHCA's Board of Directors. Typically, worker-owners accumulate $1,000 in equity after five years of employment with CHCA.
 

chca

 

quadro nero CHCA


This is a Worker-owned cooperative.
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