Fighting to raise caregiver pay, county by county

September 21, 2018

IHSS providers fill an essential need for California: caring for low-income seniors and people with disabilities in their homes so they can live in comfort and with dignity—and so the state doesn’t have to pay for more costly institutional care.

We save money and we save lives, but often we are paid like we don’t matter. UDW caregivers are fighting to change that.

The power of our united voices can really make a difference—and our voices are bringing wins for our members in many counties. In San Diego County last year, we won a raise and dropped health care premiums from $70/month to $30/month, and effectively eliminated the health insurance wait list. In San Luis Obispo County, members won a new contract that rose wages to $12/hr right away, and then to $13/hr in 2019. Tuolumne County is also getting a raise: $11.50/hr on July 1, 2018, $12.50 on January 1, 2019 and $13.50/hr on January 1, 2020!

But these wage and benefit increases aren’t just handed to us—we have to push the counties and show that we are serious. If you want to help raise caregiver pay, contact your county UDW office to find out how you can get involved!

Here’s the latest county-by-county news in bargaining:

VICTORIES

[toggle_content title=”San Diego County“]Our members in San Diego got a much-needed $1/hr raise on January 1, 2018, thanks to a new contract UDW members there worked for and signed a few months earlier. The contract calls for increases every year until 2022 when the rate will reach $15.50/hr. It also increased funding for health insurance, effectively eliminating the wait list—and lowered all Kaiser premiums to just $30 a month (down from $70!).[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”San Luis Obispo County“]In a huge victory for caregivers in SLO, our members negotiated a great new contract! Upon final ratification of the agreement, IHSS providers will be getting a raise to $12/hr, then $13/hr starting in 2019! The contract will also include up to $4,000/year to reimburse providers for costs of training done through CAIPTC.[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”Tuolumne County“]Thanks to the hard work of our members in Tuolumne County fighting for what they need from the county, IHSS providers there started getting paid $11.50/hr on July 1, 2018. And that’s not all; the new contract guarantees that pay will go up for the next two years: to $12.50/hr on January 1, 2019 and to $13.50/hr on January 1, 2020. The new contract also provides funding for medical supplies for home care providers.[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”Santa Barbara County“]Our Santa Barbara members got a 10 cent per hour bump in pay on July 1, 2018, thanks to our current contract, which is up for negotiation next year. Then we will have the opportunity to push for another wage increase and other important priorities for caregivers.[/toggle_content]

AND WE’RE STILL FIGHTING IN…

[toggle_content title=”Alpine County“]IHSS providers in Alpine County just became UDW members last year and are hard at work hammering out a great first contract. This means caregivers will have new protections and benefits written into an agreement with the county that they will have to follow. That’s the power of having a union! For more information and to find out how you can get involved, call 1-866-307-7271.[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”Mono County“]Providers in Mono County began bargaining for our first raise on April 10, 2018. This is a new process for the county and us, but we are ready and organized to push for real progress! We want a real wage increase and they know we are serious. We are meeting with the county mid-September to get this deal done! For more information and to find out how you can get involved, call 1-866-307-7271.[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”Stanislaus County“]Our current IHSS contract in Stanislaus is in effect until June 30, 2019. We are preparing for negotiations next year by reaching out to members, setting priorities, and building power to push for higher wages and more respect for home care. For more information and to find out how you can get involved, call 1-866-307-7271.[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”Stanislaus County“]Our current IHSS contract in Stanislaus is in effect until June 30, 2019. We are preparing for negotiations next year by reaching out to members, setting priorities, and building power to push for higher wages and more respect for home care. For more information and to find out how you can get involved, call 1-866-307-7271.[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”Madera, Mariposa, and Merced Counties“]The Boards of Supervisors in these three counties don’t want to give IHSS providers a raise, but we’re not taking “no” for an answer. Even though our contracts in each county have expired—Madera in 2014, Mariposa in 2017 and Merced in 2015—officials in each of these counties have rejected every offer we have made so far… so it’s time to turn up the heat with rallies and actions! We will turn our members out to every BOS meeting until we get the respect we deserve. For more information and to find out how you can get involved, call 1-866-255-7313 (Merced and Mariposa) or 559-395-4772 (Madera).[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”Kern County“]The Board of Supervisors in Kern insulted caregivers by proposing a three-year contract with no wage increases as their final offer. We rejected this insult, of course! Though we are now at impasse with the county, caregivers in Kern County aren’t giving up. We are organizing members there to build our strength and move forward to show the county that caregivers will not be disrespected! For more information and to find out how you can get involved, call 1-800-851-7272.[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”Butte County“] Last year, the Butte County Board of Supervisors wanted to increase wages only if they could cut money from health care and our members said “NO!”. We countered their proposal with a demand for the real pay raise we need, and have been showing up at board meetings to show them we mean business. For more information and to find out how you can get involved, call 530-894-2702.[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”El Dorado County“] El Dorado’s Board of Supervisors offered a raise only if they could take the money for it out of our health care. That’s not a raise, and we aren’t having it. We’ve been making our voices heard at county meetings, not just for ourselves, but also in support of the other workers the county is trying to stiff. UDW members know that there is power in numbers and our solidarity will lead to a real wage increase for the hard work we do. For more information and to find out how you can get involved, call 1-888-228-0837.[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”Nevada, Plumas, and Sierra Counties“] The Tri-County supervisors’ bargaining proposal is a non-starter: so far they’ve offered to give is a small raise but only if we take it from health care. That’s not a raise, that’s an insult, and IHSS providers deserve better. We have meeting scheduled for September and will continue to call out these counties for their wrong-headed approach to caregiver pay. For more information and to find out how you can get involved, call 1-888-228-0837.[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”Sutter County“] Sutter providers haven’t had a raise since 2015 and, at $11/hr, the time for better pay is NOW. We have an upcoming bargaining session in September and our members are ready to demand the county stop putting us off and show us the respect we deserve—with the pay raise we need. For more information and to find out how you can get involved, call 1-888-228-0837.[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”Placer County“]Our members in Placer County are long overdue for a raise–$11/hr just doesn’t cut it in this county. Our old contract expired in 2016 and we are making it clear in negotiations that’s it’s time for a raise NOW. We have told the county we want 90 cents above minimum wage plus money for vision and dental. We meet again soon. Stay tuned for good news from Placer! For more information and to find out how you can get involved, call 1-888-228-0837.[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”Imperial County“] Since our contract expired in 2017, we have been making very reasonable proposals to the county for a wage increase. Their response? No money. We have taken our stories straight to the county Board of Supervisors meetings and made sure they know what it is like to try to live on $11/hr. We have another bargaining session on the schedule for early September and we are prepared to push back every offer they make that doesn’t raise our pay! For more information and to find out how you can get involved, call 760-425-4034.[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”Orange County“] IHSS providers in Orange County are locked in battle with our Board of Supervisors and their chairman Andrew Do, who are ignoring the needs of seniors and people with disabilities in our county by refusing to use available funds to give caregivers a much-needed raise. But by increasing pressure on the county by joining with other community members and groups, we will make the Orange County Board of Supervisors realize we will not stop until we have what we need to take care of ourselves and our clients. Check out this front page article about our efforts in OC Weekly. For more information and to find out how you can get involved, call 1-877-483-9937.[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content title=”Riverside County“] Currently at an hourly rate of $11.50/hr, UDW Riverside members are working against a county Board of Supervisors who don’t want to budge on investing in the lifesaving work of home care. But we are ramping up our efforts—and our visibility—with rallies to pressure the county to get their priorities straight and pay caregivers enough to pay their own bills on time. For more information and to find out how you can get involved, call 1-866-417-7300.[/toggle_content]

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