Caregivers are the backbone of our community…
IT’S TIME FOR $20
— F A C T S H E E T —
For centuries, Black, brown, AAPI, Latina, indigenous and immigrant women have sustained the life of the nation, raising our children and providing life-saving care for seniors, people with disabilities and those recovering from injuries or illnesses. Yet these care providers continue to be among the most disrespected, unprotected and under-paid workers in the country.
Graying of America
- Home care is also the nation’s fastest-growing job sector, as roughly 10,000 Americans turn 65 each day.
- The U.S. will need to fill an estimated 4.7 million home care jobs, including over one million new jobs, by 2028.
- An investment in home- and community-based care would help meet the ballooning demand for care and establish a pipeline of home care workers into the next generation by transforming care jobs into good, living-wage, union jobs with training opportunities and real career pathways.
- A combined 92% of voters across party lines say long-term care should be a priority for the country, including a notable 67% who think it should be a high priority.
- To sustain the vital care that will only increase in need, we need to support this workforce with a livable wage.
The crisis for our community
- Median turnover among CNAs in Nursing Homes was 129.1% in 2017 and 2018.
- Low wages and turnover among skilled nursing facility workers contributes to staffing shortages, which increases the work of the remaining staff, putting tremendous pressure on this part of our healthcare system at a critical time.
- For in-home care providers, there’s an astronomical national turnover rate as high as 60% within the first year of service and 90% within the first two years.
…and then came COVID-19
- The pandemic laid bare how staffing shortages can become deadly when a contagious disease quickly spreads among care recipients in residential care settings and contributes to the spread of the disease in the general public.
- At the same time, underpaid, financially strapped direct care workers had few other options than to keep working during the coronavirus pandemic, even if it put at risk their own health and the health of their families, care recipients, and the public.
- Early in the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified staff members who worked in more than one facility as one of the factors that likely contributes to COVID-19 spread between nursing facilities.
- Subsequent studies have shown that 49% of COVID cases among nursing home residents are attributable to staﬀ movement between facilities and that eliminating staff linkages between nursing homes could reduce COVID-19 infections in nursing homes by 44%.
- Addressing low pay in the industry is a public health issue. Long-term care providers are forced to work multiple jobs in multiple homes and nursing facilities.
The crisis for care providers
- Nationally, in-home care workers are 87% women, 62% people of color, and 31% are immigrants.
- In the nursing home industry, nursing assistants are 91% women, 48% people of color, and 20% are foreign-born.
- In-home care providers in Los Angeles currently earn $15. The average hourly wage for nurse assistants in Los Angeles is $16.75, far below the hourly wages that MIT experts calculate it would take to cover basic living costs in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.
- As a result, 53% of home care workers are forced to rely on some form of public assistance just to survive and feed their families. This creates an astronomical turnover rate as mentioned above.
- Nationally, one in eight nursing home direct care professionals lives in poverty.
- Home care workers commonly lack health benefits, paid sick days, hazard pay or any training opportunities whatsoever.
- Home care workers have been continually—and intentionally—excluded from the protections enjoyed by other American workers. Home care workers are paid poverty wages, and commonly lack health benefits, paid sick days, hazard pay or any training opportunities whatsoever. And in 41 states, many lack the right to collectively bargain.
The solution: In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) workers
- In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) workers have become increasingly essential to the California workforce, providing necessary care to residents across the state.
- Over the last few years, IHSS related employment has increased to over 716,000 positions across California, with one-third of workers statewide employed in Los Angeles County alone.
- Hourly wages for Los Angeles County IHSS workers are expected to be $16/hour for 2022-23, not including benefits. With hundreds of thousands of workers, the total payroll for IHSS workers is anticipated to generate a significant economic and fiscal impact as their spending ripples through the economy.
- An increase to $20 an hour would:
- generate an additional $2.1 billion in economic output in the county,
- support nearly 12,000 more jobs,
- generate an additional $700+ million in labor income, and
- result in $293 million more in state and federal tax revenue.