Helpers and the nursing industry as seen by people with disabilities (4 of the 4 chapters)

Reason why there is only a few helper unions.

Helpers are always complaining about poor the working environment, so I once said, “Why don’t you make a union and strike? You can crush such an awful company with one shot.” The helper didn’t know what a union or a strike was and seemed to be flabbergasted. Of course, who will be most troubled by their strike is us(persons with disabilities), so I didn’t give any advice to bring salt to the enemy. But why would helpers rarely make unions?

First, because the current nursing care industry has a high liquidity in the labor market, it is better to transfer jobs to another company. In short, it is rational and quick to entrust their salaries to the wage adjustment function of the labor market rather than forming a union and negotiating.

Secondly, no matter how feverishly they form a union and negotiate, the amount of money that comes into hame care companies is regulated not by the market but by the official price for nursing care fees. Therefore, it never happens to their salaries and working conditions improve above a certain level. Perhaps they also understand it.

Nursing care fees should be raised.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m seriously hoping to improve the treatment of helpers, because it brings quality helpers to me. To make it happen, there is essentially no choice but to increase the pie, that is, raise the nursing care fee. Nowadays, small pies are desperately being fought for by helpers, managers, and people with disabilities. This fight is going to devastate someone of the three. The only way to satisfy everyone is to increase the supply of original money. Since it is clear to everyone that the balance of supply and demand for helpers is upset, Japanese government should urgently raise care fees significantly. Of course, there are financial problems, but I will omit it here because it deviates from the main subject.

By the way, the number of helpers should be quite large, but I have never heard of them having strong political power. For example, in the medical territory, there is an industry group called “the Japan Medical Association”, which boasts an organizational rate (https://www.med.or.jp/nichiionline/article/005355.html) of about 60%, and has a strong influence on the determination of medical fees. But what about helper industry groups? I examined and finally found it. But the organization rate is only about 3 per cent (https://www.minnanokaigo.com/news/nakamura/junyaishimoto1/) . Certainly, I have never met a helper that belonged to an industry group of nursing. With this, it would be impossible to have an impact on raising nursing care fees.

 If industry groups are unreliable , we, persons with disabilities as the recipient of nursing services, should raise the voice and treat helpers’ working environment as a matter of our own . It also contributes to improving the QOL and safety of people with disabilities. If helpers continue to be overloaded, it will eventually cause hatred for the disabled and the elderly, resulting in many cases of abuse and death. To prevent this, helpers need to be treated humanely as soon as possible. Disability groups have accumulated the demands on the country and the know-how of negotiations in the long history of movement, so there should be many places where we can cooperate.

“In the past, helpers used to participate in our disability movement for free. Nowadays, if we put them to work on it, they demand a wage. That’s a stupid thing.” This statement was made by a director (person with disabilities) of a nursing care company that was previously formed by a group of persons with disabilities. I was appalled to hear that. If a person who works on the basis of human rights, the movement for persons with disabilities, publicly stated that he tramples the human rights of workers employed at his company, the legitimacy of the movement hits rock bottom. Unfortunately, disabled activists like him are not uncommon. In the future movement of persons with disabilities, it will be necessary to change such old consciousness and tackle the new issue of human rights of helpers directly.

Published by Double Techou

"Techou" means "disability certificate" in Japanese.

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