If ratified, would put caregiver pay near $18/hr for this majority women workforce
Calaveras County, CA – Last week, the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) providers of SEIU Local 2015, the nation’s largest long-term care union representing nearly 450,000 caregivers across California, reached a tentative agreement for a new Union contract with the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors.
This will be the first agreement reached since 2010 and will raise standards for the over 500 Calaveras County IHSS workers who provide essential care to older adults and people with disabilities.
The agreement won with SEIU Local 2015 includes: a wage increase to $16.99 immediately with a path to earning $17.99 by 2025, a health plan with expanded access to caregivers, PPE provided by the County to caregivers on request, and the County’s first investment in caregiving-related training for providers.
Relatedly, last week Tehama County IHSS workers, also members of SEIU Local 2015, reached a tentative agreement on a new union contract with their Board of Supervisors. Until now, both counties were two of four California counties to pay their IHSS workforce state minimum wage. The recent agreements are a result of our members’ solidarity and resilience to get local governments to recognize IHSS as a vital workforce that cares for and protects community members.
Across the country roughly 10,000 people turn 65 every day. As this number of older adults and people with disabilities who require in-home care continues to grow in California, these higher standards will help counties to continue to attract more care providers to this workforce (and retain them).
“I just lost my second job in January and I have had to really juggle paying my bills since then, my basic bills, and it leaves no extra money at all,” said Jodi Acevedo who has been an IHSS provider since 2017. “This wage increase will alleviate some of that financial burden for me and my son and for all IHSS providers in Calaveras County.”
Through the bargaining team’s determination and perseverance, they were able to win providers a total wage and benefit package amounting to a $1.50 supplement for the first time in 14 years. The bargaining team was also able to expand health plan eligibility to providers working 60 hours or more a month.
“I was really happy about the expanded eligibility for the health plan. When I first took on caregiving, I was always just a little bit short for the hours needed for the health plan and that was a struggle for me for years. New providers will have a little bit more grace on that part,” said Charles Rangel, an IHSS provider since 2012. “This agreement is a good step in the right direction for making a better living for IHSS Providers in Calaveras County.”
Members will be able to vote on the agreement in-person on February 7 and online from February 8 to the 23rd. The Board of Supervisors is expected to adopt the agreement on February 27th.
Today’s announcement drew praise from SEIU Local 2015 leadership and marked a significant step forward in the Union’s statewide push for livable wages.
“This agreement in Calaveras County marks significant changes for workers in the county and raises standards for IHSS workers all over California,” said Arnulfo De La Cruz, President of SEIU 2015. “For the first time since 2010, IHSS providers in Calaveras have gained benefits which include County-provided PPE and an investment in their training. This agreement will help further the future of care where all IHSS workers are able to maintain their livelihood while providing essential care to their recipients.”
Since January 2020, SEIU Local 2015 has worked with counties and nursing homes across California to win more than 90 contracts, securing better workplace protections, improved wages and benefits, and a voice in the care its members provide. These investments in IHSS working conditions will help strengthen the infrastructure of care to help attract and retain caregivers.
To learn more about SEIU Local 2015 visit www.SEIU2015.org or on social media @SEIU2015.