Fresno County’s long-term care providers escalate their call for a livable wage and improved benefits 

Press Contact:
Terry Carter, 213 uies
October 6, 2023

County continues to hold their healthcare hostage, forcing providers to choose between a modest cost of living adjustment or reduction to healthcare benefits.

Fresno, CA – Fresno County in-home care providers and members of SEIU Local 2015 – the nation’s largest long-term care union and California’s largest labor union representing nearly 450,000 nursing home workers and home care providers – are planning to rally on October 10th, 2023 at the Fresno County Board of Supervisors’ office in an escalation of their call for a $20/hour wage floor and strengthened healthcare benefits. 

This rally comes following an inexcusable act by the Board of Supervisors last month, where they shut down and canceled a pre-scheduled Board meeting, preventing essential Fresno in-home care providers from speaking publicly about the challenges they face. 

“Today, Fresno County’s in-home care providers are united in their call for living wages and improved healthcare benefits,” said Arnulfo De La Cruz, President of SEIU Local 2015. “The recent actions by the Board of Supervisors to cancel last month’s public Board meeting is unacceptable – and it’s time for these policymakers to recognize the vital role in-home care providers serve in our communities. These challenges facing in-home care workers jeopardize care as the need explodes in Fresno.”

Despite the critical role in-home care providers serve in caring for Fresno’s older adults and people with disabilities, they are paid low wages and receive poor benefits. Recently, the Fresno County Board of Supervisors threatened to further pare back the benefits these workers receive, including by reducing their healthcare. 

Recent polling of in-home care workers in Fresno County underscores the urgent challenges that many of these essential workers face. Some of the distressing findings include: 

  • More than 80% of IHSS providers in Fresno County reported working multiple jobs – at least some of the time – just to make ends meet. That’s 4 out of every 5 providers in the county. 
  • Almost HALF of IHSS providers in Fresno County experience consistent food insecurity, forced to rely on CalFresh and/or food banks. 
  • Nearly 55% of IHSS providers in Fresno County have difficulty paying their mortgage or rent each month, with many reporting that they are sometimes or always late with their payments.
  • Nearly 60% of IHSS providers surveyed spend at least HALF of their income on housing, and about 20% spend more than 75%.
  • More than 55% of IHSS providers in Fresno County are sometimes or often unable to access medication because they cannot afford the cost of prescriptions.

These issues  continue to exacerbate the already significant staffing challenges affecting California and Frenso’s long-term care system.

Last year, nearly a million authorized care hours went unused in Fresno County, indicating thousands of people had difficulty finding care. Additionally, across the country, approximately 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 Fresno County and throughout California, it is critical that we attract, and retain, a more robust workforce.

Additional investments in our caregivers, here in Fresno County and throughout the state, are urgently needed to help stem the exodus of providers leaving this industry. An investment in home and community-based care would help meet the growing 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.

“The low wages my fellow in-home care providers are paid make it tough for us to make ends meet,” said Wendy Davenport, Fresno County IHSS provider. “Many of us work multiple jobs, facing food insecurity and housing challenges. Access to healthcare is often out of reach. We need Fresno County’s support for a livable wage and better benefits, so we can provide quality care and live decently in our community.”

SEIU Local 2015 is committed to advocating for policies that support in-home care providers and those they care for, including livable wages and benefits, as well as access to training and professional development opportunities. We urge the Fresno County Board of Supervisors to work with us to address these pressing issues and ensure that all who qualify have access to the care they need and deserve in the comfort of their own homes.

To learn more about SEIU Local 2015 visit