In-home Care Providers—Including Many Women of Color—Win Wage Increase in Union Contract with Solano County

Press Contact:
Terry Carter, 213 , uies
September 20, 2021
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Increased Wages Climb to $1.20 Above Minimum Wage, a Clear Step on the Path to $20 Wage Floor.

Other Provisions in Agreement Include Healthcare Protections, Funding for Pandemic Safety Equipment, Professional Training and more

Solano County, CA–The in-home supportive services (IHSS) caregivers of SEIU Local 2015 reached a tentative agreement on their Union contract with Solano County on September 16th after months of often emotional negotiations. Caregivers at the bargaining table lifted up their tumultuous experiences during the past year-and-a-half to push forward the critical improvements needed in the workplace. Members worked tirelessly to bring the workforce closer to fair compensation and additional protection, contributing to their ongoing efforts to transform essential, skilled caregiver jobs into good jobs. This contract brings them a significant step closer, with investment in important caregiver training and a wage increase that finally recognizes that these jobs should not be minimum wage jobs.

“We’re excited to cultivate even more substantial improvements for our In-Home Supportive Services members in Solano County,” said SEIU Local 2015 Executive Vice President Arnulfo de la Cruz. “Our members are relentless in their fight to protect and serve our elderly and disabled clients, despite the desperately needed changes in working conditions they deal with everyday. We’re grateful that the County has finally recognized these needs to ensure our members can properly and safely provide quality care.”

“I’ve been an in-home care provider for nearly six years and I love encouraging and supporting those I care for. This was my first time on the Bargaining Team,” said Sherry Williams, an IHSS provider in Vacaville. “I know people who’ve been doing this work for decades with little thanks or respect, so this wage increase was a big deal for us. It’s definitely not where we need to be, but it does mean that I don’t have to work three or four jobs to pay rent and keep my car. I know that our actions at our downtown rally and march into the Board of Supervisors meeting helped us turn the corner in our negotiations. I feel like they finally heard us.”

The contract milestone falls on the heels of recent actions members took before the Board of Supervisors. Since January 2020, SEIU Local 2015 has worked with counties and nursing homes across the state of California to ratify more than 80 contracts, securing better pandemic safety, important COVID-19 and other trainings, improved wages and benefits, and a voice in the care its members provide.

“​​This contract increases hourly wages from $14.50 to $15.20 effective as soon as possible, and to $16.20 effective January 1, 2022,” SEIU Local 2015 President April Verrett. “These improvements are a huge step toward the $20 wage floor for all long-term care providers. The change is a testament to our continued mission behind our Time for $20 campaign. These efforts are propelled by Union members at bargaining tables across the state to raise standards in the industry, including access to healthcare, professional training, on-the-job safety, and secure retirement.

In addition to the wage increase, other notable wins in this contract include:

  • Healthcare
    We protected funding for the Pan-American healthcare, vision and dental plan. Eligible Providers will continue to be able to enroll in benefits during open enrollment. SEIU Local 2015 members can continue to purchase dental and vision plans for themselves and family members through the Union.
  • PPE
    The Public Authority will provide personal protective equipment: exam gloves, cloth masks and disinfectant wipes to Providers to give care to Consumers. Providers have the right to decline to provide care services for Consumers that can’t be completed safely, as well as to decline to do care services outside of authorized care tasks.
  • Training
    The Public Authority will continue to provide CPR training through the Homecare Workers Health Care Relief Fund
  • No Discrimination
    We expanded non-discrimination protections so that providers will not be discriminated against by the Public Authority. The Union and Public Authority will also work together to discourage Consumers from discriminating against Providers.

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