By Editha Adams, UDW President and IHSS provider
For the past year UDW caregivers have rallied and marched alongside thousands of underpaid workers to make one thing clear: no one should have to survive on less than $15 per hour in California.
And we won! On April 4, 2016 we were there when Governor Jerry Brown signed a historic $15 minimum wage into law.
The law also guarantees paid sick leave for IHSS workers for the first time ever: the first in 2018, the second in 2020, and the third and final day in 2022. It will also increase California’s current
minimum wage by one dollar over the next two years, and then by a dollar for each year thereafter until reaching $15 per hour in 2022.
This victory will have a huge impact on the more than 400,000 IHSS providers statewide who currently earn, on average, just $10.72 an hour – and many will start to see an increase in wages as early as 2017, when the minimum wage goes up to $10.50.
But we have more work to do, because home care providers deserve to earn more than minimum wage! That’s why we’re bargaining at the county and state-levels to win better wages and benefits for UDW home care providers now, and working together to protect the home care program for our clients and loved ones.
All across this state—from the streets of San Diego to the legislative chambers of Sacramento—home care workers have made our voices heard! For the past year we have rallied and marched alongside thousands of underpaid workers to make one thing clear: no one should have to try to survive on less than $15 per hour in California.
Today, UDW Executive Director Doug Moore stood alongside Governor Jerry Brown as he announced a plan to increase minimum wage to $15 by 2022 and provide IHSS home care workers with paid sick leave for the first time ever.
The announcement comes as we are gearing up for demonstrations throughout the state in April, and days after the California Secretary of State’s office stated that more than 400,000 signatures were collected to place the Fair Wage Act of 2016, a measure that calls for a $15 minimum wage by 2021, on the November ballot.
“This a huge victory for all working Californians, but especially IHSS providers,” said UDW President and home care worker Editha Adams. “We’ve been denied paid sick leave and a livable wage for far too long.”
Last year, we joined together with restaurant workers in April and November for the largest-ever national strikes aimed at increasing the minimum wage. Workers in more than 270 cities, from California to New York, walked off the job and carried out massive protests outside city halls where fast-food, home care, child care, and other workers called on politicians and Big Business to raise pay for America’s most underpaid workers. Our coalition also held wage board hearings where we made our case for why increasing workers’ salaries needs to be a part of the national discussion on ending poverty in our communities. Together, we vowed to take our Fight for $15 to the ballot box to show candidates of all political stripes that the nearly 64 million Americans who make less than $15 can no longer be ignored.
Today’s legislative proposal will extend up to three days of paid sick leave to IHSS home care workers, and increase California’s current minimum wage by one dollar over the next two years, and then by a dollar for each year thereafter until reaching $15 per hour in 2022. Future minimum wage increases would be tied to inflation.
The new minimum wage will have a huge impact on the more than 400,000 IHSS providers statewide who currently earn, on average, just $10.72 an hour.
“We worked hard for this,” said UDW member and home care provider Gabriel Paramo from San Diego. He is one of the tens of thousands who is making just $10 per hour and would see a pay raise as early as 2017. “I have peace of mind knowing that we now have a clear path to $15 per hour.”
But we have more work to do!
Over the next few weeks, UDW members will continue to fight for $15 until this legislation is passed in the legislature and signed by the governor. This Thursday we will gather with thousands of workers from across California in Sacramento in support of minimum wage proposal, and on April 14th, we will participate in a nationwide demonstration calling for $15 and a union for all working Americans.
“This is not just a matter of policy—it’s about doing what’s right,” said UDW Executive Director Doug Moore in an earlier statement. “No Californian who works full-time should be living in poverty.”
Get the facts! Read more about this plan here.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 28, 2016
Contact: Eli Magaña, [email protected], 619-252-0397
Statement from UDW Executive Director Doug Moore on Governor Brown’s proposal to raise the state minimum wage and provide paid sick time to home care workers:
“No Californian who works full-time should be living in poverty. And yet, low-wage workers across the state are struggling to make ends meet. Caregivers for the state’s In-Home Supportive Services program (IHSS) make on average just $10.71 an hour. They work long hours to ensure that seniors and Californians with disabilities get the quality care they need, but at the end of the day many are unable to pay all of their bills and put food on the table for their families—and without paid sick leave, they are often forced to go to work sick, putting their clients and loved ones at risk.
That’s why UDW home care providers have been on the front lines in the Fight for $15 alongside fast food workers, child care providers, janitors, educators, and other underpaid workers.
We urge lawmakers to swiftly pass legislation that will uplift millions of hardworking Californians and their families. Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour and giving all workers paid sick days is not just a matter of policy—it’s about doing what’s right.”
United Domestic Workers of America (UDW)/AFSCME Local 3930 is a homecare union made up of over 92,000 in-home caregivers across the state of California. UDW caregivers provide care through the state’s In-Home Supportive Services program (IHSS), which allows hundreds of thousands of seniors and people with disabilities to stay safe and healthy at home.