Home care providers appeal to Marin County Supervisors for higher wages and solutions to caregiver shortage

Press Contact:
Mara Ortenburger, marao@seiu2015.org(510) 410-2997
April 2, 2024
Posted in Press Release
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Marin County, CA Today Marin County In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) providers of SEIU Local 2015, the nation’s largest long-term care union representing nearly 470,000 caregivers across California spoke out at the Board of Supervisors meeting for higher pay, improved benefits, and solutions to the county’s caregiver shortage. 

There are nearly 2,000 IHSS providers in Marin County who provide essential home care services to older adults and people with disabilities. They currently make $18 an hour, while the living wage for one adult with no children in Marin County is estimated to be $32.19.

Marin County’s hourly wage lags behind other counties in the region: San Francisco County providers are on a path to earn $25.50 by 2027, and Napa County home care workers recently negotiated a wage of $20.80.

“The struggle to get respect and true living wages for caregivers has been a long one. Because home care work has historically been done by women, and often by immigrants and women of color,  it was originally written out of labor laws,” said Marin County IHSS provider Connie Barker. “We need at least $25 an hour and the kind of benefits other workers take for granted like sick leave and retirement.”

Low wages contribute to a shortage of providers. In 2023, 274,000 requested care hours went unused in Marin County, which is 9.4% of all authorized care hours. Meanwhile, the number of people who need care is increasing. In Marin County, the population of adults 60 and older is expected to increase by 56% from 2010 to 2060. Across the country roughly 10,000 people turn 65 every day. As the number of older adults and people with disabilities who require in-home care continues to grow, it is critical that we attract more people to this workforce (and retain them).

“These dedicated workers put themselves on the front lines every day, caring for older adults and those with disabilities, yet they don’t earn the livable wages they need. It’s time for policymakers to finally recognize the important nature of in-home care by paying our providers livable wages,” said Arnulfo De La Cruz, President of SEIU Local 2015

“We can make our Board of Supervisors aware of what goes into providing care. Nobody knows until you are in it. Care providers are the only ones who can tell you exactly what’s involved. If we don’t speak up, then who will?” said Marin County IHSS provider Sunita Singh.

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 Board of Supervisors to work with us to address these pressing issues and ensure that all who qualify can access the care they need in the comfort of their own homes.

Marin County providers will continue raising their voices, showing up at meetings, and sharing their stories until they get the wages they deserve. Follow campaign developments here

To learn more about SEIU Local 2015 visit www.SEIU2015.org or on social media @SEIU2015.