FRIDAY, MARCH 11
SONOMA COUNTY HOME CARE WORKERS RATIFY NEW CONTRACT: Months of action result in wage increase that will eventually reach $13.00/hour
SANTA ROSA, CA – Home care workers in Sonoma County, represented by SEIU Local 2015, have ratified a new contract that raises their wage to $12.50 per hour as soon as the State can make the change, and to $13.00 per hour on March 1, 2017. The contract is on the agenda for a vote of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors at its Tuesday, March 15th meeting.
Home care workers currently make just $11.65 an hour and have not had a raise in more than three years. They were excluded from the County’s new living wage ordinance and had to spend months advocating a raise in front of the Board of Supervisors.
SEIU Local 2015 Provisional Officer April Verrett was glad to reach a contract, but expressed frustration at the length of time it took to achieve. “It should not have taken months to get this done,” she said. “We are glad that Supervisors finally realized that only they could raise home care workers’ wages, and we are finally on a pathway to a livable wage.”
The contract was ratified with near unanimous support of the membership. “It’s an overwhelming victory,” said home care worker Paul Esparza, who was part of bargaining team. “We are so pleased with our raise.”
IHSS workers care for our low-income seniors and disabled neighbors, a tough but critical job that allows their clients to live at home with independence and dignity while being more cost effective than institutionalization. This work should be recognized and paid a livable wage.