Another Milestone in SEIU 2015’s Statewide “Time for $20” Campaign, the Union Calls on Other California Jurisdictions to Join Contra Costa County in Providing Essential Caregivers with Living Wages
Contra Costa County, CA – On October 28, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors reached a tentative agreement on a new Union contract for local In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) caregivers of SEIU Local 2015, the nation’s largest long-term care union representing nearly 450,000 long-term care workers in California. This new contract will put essential caregivers in the region on a path to a $20 per hour wage floor.
The full provisions of the tentative agreement amount to a nearly 20% wage increase over the next three years and will make Contra Costa the fourth county in California to provide in-home caregivers with a $20 per hour living wage. The Union estimates that the new contract will be in effect by January, and upon its implementation, wages will increase from $16.00 per hour to $16.50 per hour, and to $18.43 per hour in January 2024, with regular increases reaching $20 per hour on January 1, 2026.
“This is a huge victory for our ‘Time for $20’ campaign to increase wages for long-term care workers in California. This win was propelled by Union members at the bargaining table in Contra Costa County working to raise standards in the industry,” said SEIU Local 2015 Executive Vice President Arnulfo De La Cruz. “We’re grateful to the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors for hearing our call and taking action, following the examples of nearby jurisdictions in Alameda, Santa Clara, and San Francisco Counties. This is a monumental win and we’re looking forward to seeing other counties across the state, such as Los Angeles, follow suit and finally invest in the essential workers taking care of California’s most vulnerable.”
“Our members’ struggles aren’t new, and with more than 420,000 long-term care workers having left the profession since the start of the pandemic, it is clear that this is an industry in crisis,” said SEIU Local 2015 First Vice President, Home Care Industry Carmen Roberts. “Caregivers are underpaid and under-protected, and COVID has only exacerbated these issues. This new contract is a big win for SEIU 2015 members and our ‘Time for $20’ campaign and signifies a path to similar victories for long-term care workers across the state, including in Los Angeles County where providers there are currently in contract negotiations. It’s time for $20 for all of California’s essential home care providers.”
Today’s announcement follows the launch of an internal Union ratification vote. These votes will be tallied on November 15. If ratified, the Board of Supervisors will vote on the new contract November 29.
“I’ve been a care provider for nearly 20 years, first caring for my mother and now my brother who requires 24/7 support. Despite the important work I do every day, I receive poor wages that make it tough to make ends meet as the cost of living grows in Contra Costa County,” said Javeta Johnson, a home care provider in Contra Costa County and an SEIU 2015 member. “Thanks to the hard work of our bargaining team, I’ve learned that caregivers have real power when we work together to fight for what’s right. But our work doesn’t stop here. I’m excited to continue to partner with my sisters and brothers to make sure the County views and pays us appropriately for the essential workers we are.”
Since January 2020, SEIU Local 2015 has worked with counties and nursing homes across California to win nearly 90 contracts, securing better workplace protections, improved wages and benefits, and a voice in the care its members provide.
In addition to the wage increase, other notable wins in this contract include improved health benefits for workers and updated language that will prevent discrimination against home care providers.
Over the last few years, SEIU Local 2015 members across California have put their fight to improve the long-term care industry into high gear. Throughout 2022, SEIU Local 2015 members have held multiple demonstrations across California to highlight the need for better wages, demand support for improved workplace protections, and put pressure on those with the power to make the necessary changes needed to fix this broken industry.
To learn more about SEIU Local 2015 visit www.SEIU2015.org or on social media @SEIU2015.