Backdropped by a giant banner listing basic necessities they can’t afford, members of SEIU 2015, the nation’s largest long-term care union representing more than 400,000 long-term care workers in California, rallied for a $20 per hour living wage floor and improved healthcare and training for essential in-home caregivers
Los Angeles, CA, Wednesday, May 11th – Today, In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) caregivers — joined by their supporters, including Ron Herrera, President of LA County Federation of Labor, Apolonio Morales of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), and members of local community organizations Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) and consumer advocacy group Hand in Hand – again urged the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to ensure that the county’s budget (hearings begin today) aligns with the county’s values of addressing the urgent need for care for the county’s most vulnerable.
Battered by the dual challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and pre-existing labor issues related to poor wages and lack of access to benefits, care providers have been leaving the profession at unprecedented rates. Recent polling from SEIU Local 2015 shows that one in five in-home caregivers are likely to leave their current position in the coming year, with respondents citing low wages, lack of retirement benefits, and general concerns related to financial security as the primary reasons for their potential departure. Furthermore, more than 30% of IHSS providers in California are forced to work multiple jobs because the pay from in-home caregiving is not enough to make ends meet.
As a result of their unjust wages, these essential home care workers often struggle to afford everyday necessities such as daycare, doctor visits, groceries, and more. At the rally, these day-to-day imperative items were listed on a large banner highlighting “Things I often can’t afford…”—drawing attention to the challenges of supporting a family without a $20 per hour living wage floor.
“In-home caregivers are once again making their voices heard to call for the urgent need to invest in frontline providers to stem the exodus of workers leaving the long-term care industry,” said April Verrett, President of SEIU Local 2015. “As the number of Californians in need of in-home care continues to grow, government officials in Los Angeles and across the state need to act immediately to prevent any more caregivers from leaving the industry. It is time for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to lead the way in California by passing a $20 an hour living wage floor for these essential frontline heroes, which will ensure our state can continue to meet the needs of our vulnerable, homebound neighbors.”