Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Substitute Bill No. 6486

    January Session, 2011

 

*_____HB06486GAE___051111____*

AN ACT CONCERNING HOME HEALTH CARE SERVICES AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PERSONAL CARE ATTENDANT WORKFORCE COUNCIL.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2011) (a) For purposes of this section and sections 2 to 4, inclusive, of this act: (1) "Consumer" means a person who receives services from a personal care attendant under a state-funded program, including, but not limited to, (A) the program for individuals with acquired brain injuries, established pursuant to section 17b-260a of the general statutes, (B) the personal care assistance program, established pursuant to section 17b-605a of the general statutes, (C) the Connecticut home care program for the elderly, established pursuant to section 17b-342 of the general statutes, (D) the pilot program to provide home care services for disabled persons, established pursuant to section 17b-617 of the general statutes, (E) the individual and family support waiver program administered by the Department of Developmental Services, (F) the comprehensive waiver program administered by the Department of Developmental Services, and (G) any state-funded program that provides services from a personal care attendant; (2) "surrogate" means a consumer's legal guardian or a person identified in a written agreement as having responsibility for the care of a consumer; (3) "personal care attendant" means a person employed by a consumer or surrogate to provide personal care assistance to a consumer; and (4) "personal care assistance" means supportive home care, personal care or another nonprofessional service provided to a person with a disability or an elderly person who requires assistance to (A) meet such person's daily living needs, (B) ensure such person may adequately function in such person's home, or (C) provide such person with safe access to the community.

(b) There is established a council to ensure the quality of long-term personal home care that shall be known as the Personal Care Attendant Quality Home Care Workforce Council. The council shall be composed of thirteen members including the Commissioner of Social Services, or the commissioner's designee, who shall serve as chairperson, the Commissioner of Developmental Services, or the commissioner's designee, and the Healthcare Advocate or the Healthcare Advocate's designee. The remaining ten members of the council shall be consumers or surrogates and shall be appointed as follows: Two each by the Governor, the speaker of the House of Representatives and the president pro tempore of the Senate, one each by the majority leader of the House of Representatives, the majority leader of the Senate, the minority leader of the House of Representatives and the minority leader of the Senate. All appointments to the council shall be made not later than August 1, 2011. The chairperson shall convene the first meeting of the council not later than September 1, 2011. Subsequent meetings shall be held at times determined by the council chairperson or upon the written request of any five members of the council to the chairperson. Members may serve three-year terms from the date of their appointment or until successors are appointed, except (1) the initial appointees of the speaker of the House of Representatives and the president pro tempore of the Senate shall serve two-year terms, and (2) the initial appointees of the majority leader of the House of Representatives and the majority leader of the Senate shall serve one-year terms. A majority of the members of the council shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of any business. Vacancies shall be filled by the appointing authority for the expiration of the term of the member being replaced not later than thirty days after the date of the vacancy. Members of the council shall receive no compensation for their service on the council but shall be reimbursed for actual expenses necessarily incurred in performance of their duties.

(c) (1) The council, with the assistance of the Department of Social Services, shall have the following duties and responsibilities relating to personal care attendants: (A) Not later than October 1, 2011, commence a study of issues relating to the recruitment, retention and adequacy of personal care attendants; and (B) develop a plan and make recommendations to the Commissioner of Social Services to improve the quality, stability and availability of personal care attendants by (i) developing better means to identify and recruit personal care attendants, (ii) developing training and educational opportunities for personal care attendants and consumers, (iii) developing one or more registries to (I) provide routine, emergency and respite referrals of qualified personal care attendants to consumers and surrogates who are authorized to receive long-term, in-home personal care services by a personal care attendant, (II) enable consumers and surrogates to access relevant information about prospective personal care attendants such as their training, educational background and work experience, and (III) provide appropriate employment opportunities for personal care attendants, and (iv) establishing standards concerning the wages, benefits, and conditions of employment for personal care attendants.

(2) The members of the council shall develop the expertise necessary to perform their responsibilities in accordance with subdivision (1) of this subsection by studying the experiences and best practices of other states that administer similar programs providing personal care assistance.

(3) The Commissioner of Social Services may implement, modify or reject the recommendations made by the council, in accordance with subparagraph (B) of subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(d) Commencing July 1, 2013, the council shall have the authority to (1) recruit prospective personal care attendants, (2) provide training and education to personal care attendants and consumers, (3) establish or operate a registry, as described in subparagraph (B)(iii) of subdivision (1) of subsection (c) of this section. The council may take such action directly, through a contractual agreement with another entity or with the agreement of the Department of Social Services.

(e) If personal care attendants designate a collective bargaining representative, the authority exercised by the council and the Commissioner of Social Services pursuant to this subsection shall be subject to the provisions of sections 5-270 to 5-280, inclusive, of the general statutes, and made applicable to personal care attendants in accordance with sections 1 to 4, inclusive, of this act, except as otherwise provided in sections 1 to 4, inclusive, of this act.

(f) (1) The Commissioner of Social Services, in consultation with and with the assistance of the Commissioner of Developmental Services, shall compile and maintain a list of the names and addresses of all personal care attendants who have been paid through a state-funded program that provides personal care services. The list shall not include the name of any consumer, any designation that a personal care attendant is a relative of a consumer or any designation that the personal care attendant's home address is the same as a consumer's address. Such list shall be updated not less than one time per month. Any vendor or contractor that provides personal care services shall assist and cooperate with said commissioners in compiling and maintaining such list. The commissioners, in consultation with the council, shall use such list to monitor recruitment, retention and other employment patterns of personal care attendants and for other appropriate purposes.

(2) Not later than October 1, 2011, the Commissioner of Social Services shall provide the initial list of personal care attendants to the council and to the State Board of Labor Relations. The commissioner shall also provide updated lists of personal care attendants upon request of the council or the State Board of Labor Relations. The commissioner shall comply with any reasonable request of the council or the State Board of Labor Relations concerning the form of the list.

(3) Not later than seven days after receiving a request from an employee organization, as defined in subsection (d) of section 5-270 of the general statutes, that is interested in representing an appropriate unit of personal care attendants and that may petition the State Board of Labor Relations pursuant to section 5-275 of the general statutes, the State Board of Labor Relations shall provide the most recent list of personal care attendants that has been provided to the State Board of Labor Relations in accordance with this subsection to such employee organization.

(g) A consumer or surrogate shall have the right to (1) hire or refuse to hire, (2) supervise, (3) direct the activities of, and (4) terminate the employment of any personal care attendant. A consumer or surrogate may hire a personal care attendant who has not been referred by the council.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2011) (a) A personal care attendant shall be a state employee, as defined in subsection (b) of section 5-270 of the general statutes, only for the purposes of collective bargaining pursuant to sections 5-270 to 5-280, inclusive, of the general statutes and not for any other purpose. Sections 5-270 to 5-280, inclusive, of the general statutes shall apply to personal care attendants except as provided in this section. A personal care attendant shall not be eligible for benefits available to a state employee.

(b) As the employer of personal care attendants for purposes of collective bargaining, the Personal Care Attendant Quality Home Care Workforce Council established under section 1 of this act shall have the authority and obligation to bargain and enter into agreements with a representative of personal care attendants that has been designated by the State Board of Labor Relations, pursuant to section 5-275 of the general statutes, as the exclusive bargaining agent of such attendants to establish wages, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment for such attendants. For purposes of section 5-278 of the general statutes, the council shall be considered an executive branch employer and the Commissioner of Social Services, or the commissioner's designee, shall be considered the employer's chief executive officer. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, consumers and surrogates shall have the rights described in subsection (g) of section 1 of this act.

(c) Any collective bargaining agreement reached between the council and the bargaining agent of the personal care attendants and any arbitrator's award that is issued concerning the council and the bargaining agent of the personal care attendants shall be binding on the parties except no provision of any such agreement or award that requires additional state funding shall become final until the General Assembly approves the appropriation of such funds. The council and the bargaining agent of the personal care attendants may participate in the elective binding arbitration procedures as provided in section 5-276a of the general statutes. The factors to be considered by the arbitrator in arriving at a decision on the issues submitted by the council and the bargaining agent shall include: (1) The factors described in subdivision (5) of subsection (e) of section 5-276a of the general statutes; (2) the nature of the personal care services programs at issue; and (3) the needs and welfare of consumers, including recruitment, retention and quality needs with respect to personal care attendants.

(d) Personal care attendants shall not be considered employees of the council or the state for any purpose except for the purpose of collective bargaining, pursuant to sections 5-270 to 5-280, inclusive, of the general statutes. The provisions of this section shall not alter the obligations of the state or the consumer to provide the state's or the consumer's share of Social Security, federal and state unemployment taxes, Medicare and workers' compensation insurance under the federal Insurance Contributions Act, federal and state unemployment law or the Workers' Compensation Act.

(e) Consistent with the provisions of section 5-279 of the general statutes, no provision of this section shall grant personal care attendants a right to strike and such strikes are prohibited.

(f) The only bargaining unit appropriate for the purpose of collective bargaining between the council and a representative of personal care attendants, as provided in this section, shall be (1) a state-wide unit of all personal care attendants, (2) a state-wide unit of personal care attendants who provide services under programs administered by the Department of Social Services, or (3) a state-wide unit of personal care attendants who provide services under programs administered by the Department of Developmental Services. Personal care attendants who are members of the consumer's or surrogate's family shall not be excluded from the bargaining unit for the reason of the family relationship.

(g) Notwithstanding section 5-275 of the general statutes, the State Board of Labor Relations shall not require an employee organization interested in being designated as an exclusive bargaining representative of personal care attendants to (1) notify the State Board of Labor Relations that more than ten per cent of employees in a bargaining unit desire to be exclusively represented for the purposes of collective bargaining within the unit by the petitioning organization and request the designation of such employee organization as their exclusive representative, or (2) establish that more than ten per cent of employees desire to be exclusively represented by the organization before the State Board of Labor Relations directs an election. All elections involving questions concerning the representation of personal care attendants shall be conducted by mail ballot.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2011) (a) The Personal Care Attendant Quality Home Care Workforce Council established under section 1 of this act may seek and accept any grant of money, services or property from the federal government, the state, a political subdivision or an agency of such governmental entities, including, but not limited to, federal matching funds under Title XIX of the Social Security Act, and may do all things necessary to make an application for any such grant.

(b) The council may coordinate its activities and cooperate with similar agencies in other states.

Sec. 4. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2011) (a) The Department of Social Services, the Department of Developmental Services, other state agencies, members of the Personal Care Attendant Quality Home Care Workforce Council, established pursuant to section 1 of this act, consumers, surrogates, contractors, agents of the state and fiscal intermediaries shall cooperate in the implementation of sections 1 to 3, inclusive, of this act and with any agreements reached by the Personal Care Attendant Quality Home Care Workforce Council and a representative of personal care attendants that has been designated by the State Board of Labor Relations, pursuant to section 5-275 of the general statutes, as the exclusive bargaining agent of such attendants. Such obligation to cooperate shall include making required payroll deductions as authorized by the collective bargaining agreement or any arbitrator's award.

(b) The Commissioner of Social Services shall submit an application for a waiver of federal law, as is necessary, to effectuate the provisions of sections 1 to 3, inclusive, of this act, in accordance with the provisions of section 17b-8 of the general statutes. The Commissioner of Social Services, the Commissioner of Developmental Services and other state agencies shall take all actions reasonably necessary to obtain approval for any such waiver and to ensure the continuation of necessary federal funding.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

July 1, 2011

New section

Sec. 2

July 1, 2011

New section

Sec. 3

July 1, 2011

New section

Sec. 4

July 1, 2011

New section

HS

Joint Favorable Subst.-LCO

 

LAB

Joint Favorable

 

GAE

Joint Favorable