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 improved healthcare and training for essential in-home caregivers in San Benito.
San Benito, CA, Tuesday, June 28th – Today, In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) caregivers — joined by their supporters, gathered at the San Benito County Board of Supervisors to voice their urgent demand for a fair contract with adequate healthcare benefits. Home care providers shared personal stories and experiences in a united effort to call attention to their prolonged negotiation process.
Despite pressure from the Union, the County refuses to listen to the needs of these essential care workers. The workers of San Benito County are coming together to voice their demand for adequate healthcare benefits—a critical issue which the Board of Supervisors has refused to address. As a result, San Benito long-term care workers are leaving their jobs to relocate and work in counties that offer basic healthcare benefits. Many caregivers who stay are working without healthcare, putting themselves at risk each day on the job.
“These in-home caregivers are looking after San Benito’s loved ones, ensuring they get the quality care they deserve, so now it’s time for the County to look after their care-givers,” said April Verett, President of SEIU Local 2015. “There’s nothing more ironic than healthcare workers without access to healthcare. As essential workers caring for the community’s most vulnerable population, they will keep fighting and keep sharing their stories of hardship until a plan of action is put into practice.”
“San Benito County has refused to listen to our needs — the needs of their constituents and essential workers — and we demand to have their voices heard,” said SEIU Local 2015 member Norma Gutierrez. “After over a year of bargaining attempts, the County continues to refuse healthcare for workers — we’re telling the Board of Supervisors that enough is enough. The San Benito County supervisors must understand our needs as IHSS workers, members of the largest essential workforce in our county, who are entitled to quality healthcare.”
This rally comes at a point of crisis within the long-term care industry. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, home care providers have been leaving the profession at unprecedented rates, citing the lack of access to benefits as a key force for care providers seeking work in other industries. 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. 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.
SEIU Local 2015 has taken numerous actions statewide to bring attention to the crisis facing the broader long-term care community—both in private homes and in nursing homes throughout California. Nationally, more than 238,000 long-term care providers have left the industry since the pandemic began. IHSS workers have mobilized across California for better wages and stronger benefits as a part of SEIU Local 2015’s “Time for $20” campaign.
To learn more about SEIU Local 2015 visit www.SEIU2015.org or on social media @SEIU2015.