Health aide workers continue to strike as majority of them reach agreement

The health care union representing 23,000 home health aide workers has reached a tentative agreement with one health care agency and three affiliated agencies.

Members of Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union started a three-day strike against 26 health care agencies Monday morning. The workers are demanding higher pay and health benefits. Currently home health aides earn $7 an hour.

The tentative agreement reached with the Visiting Nurses Association and three affiliated agencies would increase wages for the workers to $10 an hour. Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged the workers who have reached an agreement to return to work but the union members voted to remain on the picket line.

Akthough agencies tried to send some home health aide replacements to patients' homes, many were left unattended.

Union officials say they are confident that a deal will be reached by the end of the week but add that if there is no agreement workers will go on strike again next month.

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