San Diego IHSS home care workers denied minimum wage, file wage theft claims with the city

August 18, 2016

For Immediate Release
Thursday, August 18, 2016

Contact: Margitte Kristjansson, 619-548-4304

An estimated 10,000 home care workers in San Diego are now making less than minimum wage.

San Diego – Today local In-Home Supportive Services program (IHSS) home care workers, members of the United Domestic Workers/AFSCME Local 3930 (UDW), rallied in front of the City Treasurer’s office to shed light on the wage theft being committed in San Diego. IHSS home care workers provide in-home care for seniors and people with disabilities, saving the state money by allowing people to remain in their homes instead of costly institutions.

Proposition I, which was passed by San Diego voters in June, increased the city’s minimum wage from $10 to $10.50 per hour. But IHSS home care providers were denied the minimum wage increase through a decision by the state of California.

“When I saw my first IHSS check after the increase to $10.50 an hour went into effect in July, I was shocked and upset,” Darlene Nelson, a UDW member and an IHSS home care provider for her two adult daughters who live with developmental disabilities, told the crowd. “When I learned IHSS providers had been left out of the increase because of an unfair decision by the state, I felt like my work was not being valued.”

The state’s response to inquiries of why it is denying home care providers the local minimum wage has been that it cannot be compelled to follow our local laws. “Why should we be left out?” Nicanora Montenegro, an IHSS provider for her 47-year-old sister who lives with intellectual disabilities, asked the crowd. “We are all San Diegans. We live in San Diego…They raised the wage to $10.50 and we’re left at $10 only – What do you call that? Wage theft!”

After the rally five IHSS home care workers marched into the city treasurer’s office to submit formal letters of complaint against the state. They called on the city to hold the state accountable for its wage theft, and to demand they enforce our laws and pay workers fairly.

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United Domestic Workers of America (UDW)/AFSCME Local 3930 is a home care union made up of nearly 94,000 in-home caregivers across the state of California. UDW caregivers provide care through the state’s In-Home Supportive Services program (IHSS), which allows over half a million California seniors and people with disabilities to stay safe and healthy at home.

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