Sacramento, CA – California’s caregivers for seniors and people with disabilities celebrated the passage of AB 1672 (Haney) from the Assembly Public Employment and Retirement Committee today. The bill, championed by California’s In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) caregivers, empowers these critical care workers to transform California’s home care program for elderly Californians and people with disabilities so our state can keep the promise for all Californians to receive care in the setting of one’s choice as we age.
“Recruiting and retaining a compassionate, skilled homecare workforce should be a top priority as the state’s population of older Californians is exploding; instead, a system that keeps workers stuck in low wages, poor benefits and a state of exhaustion is driving caregivers from the work they love,” said SEIU Local 2015 President Arnulfo De La Cruz.
“Caregivers know how to fix this broken system and protect the people who need care. To transform home care, caregivers must lead, with a seat at the table with California’s governor, working in partnership to help solve this crisis,” said Doug Moore, Executive Director of United Domestic Workers of America (UDWA). “We are grateful that the Assembly Public Employment and Retirement Committee recognized that Our Care Counts and voted to move AB 1672 forward.”
California is experiencing a caregiving crisis, with the State Auditor reporting before the pandemic that roughly 40,000 IHSS clients were going without the care they needed each month because there are simply too few providers. Fragmented program administration, split between 56 public authorities, keeps workers constantly struggling for marginal wage gains. Most counties pay barely above minimum wage; not a single county in California pays home care providers a living wage.
AB 1672 will empower workers to negotiate directly with state government to make changes needed to recruit and retain the home care workforce California needs as we age, shifting the responsibility to bargain from the counties to the state. In other states with statewide bargaining for in-home supportive services, caregivers have negotiated improvements that stabilize the workforce, from statewide training programs to contributions to retirement security.
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AB 1672—“Our Care Counts”—is supported by SEIU 2015, which represents approximately 420,000 IHSS providers across 37 counties, and UDW/AFSCME Local 3930, which represents more than 140,000 IHSS providers in 21 counties.