In-home Care Providers—Primarily Women—Win Wage Increase in Union Contract with Marin County

Press Contact:
Terry Carter, 213 , uies
October 4, 2021
Posted in Press

Increased Wages Climb to $16.85 an Hour, a Clear Step on the Path to $20 Wage Floor.

Other Provisions in Agreement Include Advanced Healthcare Protections and Transit Subsidies

Marin County, CA–The in-home supportive services (IHSS) caregivers of SEIU Local 2015 reached a tentative agreement on their Union contract with Marin County on September 24th 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 a pilot transportation subsidy and a wage increase that finally recognizes that these jobs should not be minimum wage jobs.

“This contract win is yet another critical improvement for not only In-Home Supportive Services members in Marin County, but statewide,” 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 clients with disabilities, despite the desperately needed changes in working conditions they deal with every day. We’re grateful that the County has finally recognized these needs to ensure our members can properly and safely provide quality care.”

“We kept pushing at the bargaining table for the things homecare workers need to survive,” said Peter Tiernan, an IHSS worker in Marin County. “We’ve made a lot of progress since we won the right to form a Union. But it’s hard to put that in perspective when you can’t pay the landlord. So the wage increase is a step in the right direction as we continue to push for a living wage. The reduced healthcare eligibility hours is huge; the county estimates it could cover as many as an additional 200 providers. And the transportation pilot program is really important. Elderly people living on the outskirts of the county who want to age in place have a hard time finding care. The money to subsidize transportation actually makes it possible for more caregivers to reach those clients. Otherwise, with a long commute and low wages, the providers would be working for free. Like I said, everybody’s landlord would have something to say about that.”

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’s wage supplement of $1.45 brings the total wage up to $16.85 an hour for local Marin County caregivers effective upon Union ratification,” said SEIU Local 2015 President April Verrett. “These improvements are yet another pivotal 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 reduced the monthly healthcare premium from $150 to $130 and reduced the eligibility for health and dental benefits from 85 hours a month to 65 hours a month.

  • Transit Subsidy Pilot Program

We created a Transit Subsidy Pilot Program that will subsidize travel expenses for registry providers who are required to travel to reach their client, especially in remote locations and hard to serve areas. The amendment requires the Public Authority to spend up to $30,000 annually for this program.To learn more about SEIU Local 2015 visit www.SEIU2015.org or on social media @SEIU2015.