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

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

Increased Wages Climb to $15.85 an Hour, a Clear Step on the Path to $20 Wage Floor

Other Provisions in Agreement Include Healthcare Protections, Funding for Pandemic Safety Equipment, an Overtime Rate of $23.78 and more 

Modoc County, CA–The in-home supportive services (IHSS) caregivers of SEIU Local 2015 reached a tentative agreement on their Union contract with Modoc County on September 20th after successful negotiations. The agreement includes a wage increase to $15.85 from $14.00, effective upon State implementation.  It is an important victory on the path to a $20.00 wage floor for all IHSS workers. As the California Minimum Wage goes up in the future, the new negotiated wage will increase accordingly to remain at least $0.85 above the minimum wage. The contract also includes an immediate $0.85 increase, an overtime rate of $23.78, enhanced health and safety measures, and more.

“We’re thrilled to have won substantive improvements for our In-Home Supportive Services members in Modoc County,” said SEIU Local 2015 Executive Vice President Arnulfo De La Cruz. “This is an important milestone in our effort to ensure our members are protected and properly compensated. 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 recognized these needs to ensure our members can properly and safely provide quality care.”

“We just took a big step on our path to a $20 wage for IHSS,” said Corina Torres, an IHSS provider in Alturas who was part of the Union’s Bargaining Team. “Another really important victory is the PPE that the county will supply. It was so hard up here last year. For six months, I couldn’t find bleach, laundry detergent, or other cleaning supplies. I had to wash clothes by hand with whatever soap I could find. I know a lot of care providers in my community. I heard the struggles and depression and sadness. I kept telling them don’t give up. So this agreement with the county is great news. We had a voice and we were heard and now we can feel supported.”

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 strengthens the rights and COVID-19 safety protections of our caregivers who work tirelessly and have faced great risks, particularly over the past year and a half,” SEIU Local 2015 President April Verrett. “These improvements are due to the tireless work of members to eventually achieve a $20 wage floor for long-term care providers as a part of our Time for $20 campaign. The contract victory also represents an advancement in consumer care, as PPE and higher wages will help caretakers keep up with the needs of an aging population in all parts of the county.”

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

  • COVID-19 Safety

The Public Authority will now provide personal protective equipment: gloves, masks and disinfectant sanitizer 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.

  • Provider Registry
    We newly expanded providers’ rights who are looking for Consumers through the Registry and clarified information the Public Authority will provide in order for the Union to assist Providers who have concerns with the Registry.

We expanded the rights of Providers to meet together and learn about their rights under the contract and with the Union. 

  • No Discrimination  
    We expanded non-discrimination protections so that the Public Authority will work with providers to minimize issues of discrimination and harassment from consumers.
  • Building a Stronger Union
    The terms of the agreement also apply to Waiver Care Personal Services (WPCS) providers, who are included in the agreement alongside IHSS providers.

The Public Authority will work with provider Union stewards to help and represent co-workers with our Contract, the IHSS program and to help providers with payroll issues.Providers will also be paid for their time spent in negotiations for future contracts.  

We clarified and improved language throughout the contract.To learn more about SEIU Local 2015 visit www.SEIU2015.org or on social media @SEIU2015.