In the most disruptive protest yet, essential workers escalated their call for a $20 minimum wage floor, again speaking up in a public board meeting, again closing down Temple Street, and sitting in the street as an act of civil disobedience to lift up this unmet demand.
LOS ANGELES, CA—Today, In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) caregivers demonstrated at the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors’ office in an escalation of their demand for a path to $20 an hour wage floor, improved healthcare, training, and other critical employment benefits. Essential in-home care providers—members of SEIU Local 2015, the nation’s largest long-term care union representing more than 400,000 nursing home and home care workers—were also joined by their consumers and supporters in the demonstration, the most disruptive protest yet in their months-long contract negotiation with the county.
The union continued to elevate the findings of budget analysts from Beacon Economics—a highly respected firm specializing in sustainable growth that the Board of Supervisors itself often relies on for accurate analysis and planning. The firm’s report highlights the significant financial benefit to the county that would result from a $20 wage for IHSS providers. This raise would support nearly 12,000 new jobs, generate more than $708M in additional labor income, and generate an additional $2.1B in economic output.
This protest comes a week after home care providers took a stand at the first-since-COVID public board meeting on September 27th by calling for a $20 wage floor during the open comment portion. Members reiterated the twin issues of low wages and lack of available care providers that have resulted in an urgent staffing crisis affecting the health, autonomy, and wellbeing of our vulnerable elderly and those with disabilities throughout Los Angeles County.
“Long term care workers—almost 90% women—are struggling to continue providing critical care to the growing population of seniors as well as our community members living with disabilities,” said April Verrett, President of SEIU Local 2015. “Our polling shows that one in five in-home caregivers indicated they were likely to leave their current position this year.”
“With nearly one third of IHSS providers forced to work multiple jobs to make ends meet, we are determined to do whatever it takes to make sure that the Board passes a $20 living wage floor in this year’s budget,” said Arnulfo De La Cruz, Executive Vice President of SEIU Local 2015. “A $20 wage floor would not only support these essential workers, but also provide downstream economic impacts. We know that every $1 the county invests in the IHSS program brings as much as $5 in additional contributions into the local economy from State and Federal governments.”
Recently, in-home caregivers of SEIU Local 2015 achieved a significant victory in the Bay Area, reaching an agreement on their Union contract with Alameda County that puts these essential frontline heroes on a pathway to earning a $20 an hour wage floor. Today’s rally marks the latest in a series of actions recently taken by SEIU Local 2015 to bring attention to the crisis facing the broader long-term care community – both in private homes and in nursing homes in California in support of the “Time for $20” campaign.
To learn more about SEIU Local 2015 visit www.SEIU2015.org or on social media @SEIU2015.