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Eye On Olympia

Mon., Feb. 11, 2008, 4:31 p.m.

Nursing home workers: Want an economic stimulus? Pay us more!

Give the Service Employees International Union credit for being fast on its feet. As Congress is moving ahead with a plan to mail out millions of dollars in checks as an economic stimulus, the union's members are arguing that the state could get a similar result by paying local nursing home workers more.

"I need a raise to be able to pay for basic necessities like gas, food and rent," said Donna Peake, a nursing assistant from Vancouver.

The union says it's busing hundreds of members in to Olympia tomorrow to distribute a study by an economic consultant. The upshot: $15 million more for nursing homes would mean 446 new jobs and economic activity worth nearly $38 million, $1.5 million of which is state and local taxes.

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