San Benito County In-Home Care Providers—mostly women of color—ratify of their tentative agreement on new union contract

Press Contact:
Terry Carter, 213 uies
June 7, 2024

San Benito, CA –  San Benito County IHSS members of SEIU Local 2015, the nation’s largest long-term care union and California’s largest labor union representing nearly 470,000 nursing home workers and home care providers have ratified their agreement this month with the San Benito County Board of Supervisors. This will put these essential caregivers on a path to a $1.65 per hour wage increase. When combined with the current 0.80 cents wage supplement, it will place San Benito County providers $2.45 above the minimum wage over three years!

The full provisions of the contract amount to a nearly 10% wage increase for IHSS care providers across San Benito County. The agreement has a new $1.65 wage supplement including the current $0.80, which will raise current wages from $16.80 per hour to $18.45 per hour, for the next 3 years.

Across the country roughly 11,000 people turn 65 every day. As this number of older adults and people with disabilities who require in-home care continues to grow in California, this marks a victory for folks in San Benito County to continue to attract more care providers to this workforce (and retain them).

“This is a huge victory for our statewide efforts to increase wages for IHSS care providers in California. This win was propelled by Union members at the bargaining table and throughout San Benito County working to raise standards in the industry,” said Arnulfo De La Cruz, President of SEIU Local 2015. “We’re grateful to the San Benito County Board of Supervisors for hearing our call and taking action. This win is a crucial step forward in ensuring that our great IHSS members can afford to live in the cities in which they work in the face of rising costs, and we’re looking forward to seeing other counties across the state follow suit and finally invest in the essential workers taking care of older adults and those with disabilities.”

“We care for other people, and we deserve to be cared for in turn. We put our blood, sweat and tears into our work, and it’s nice to be getting a contract that is beginning to reflect that,” says San Benito IHSS provider Belen Martinez. “We deserve strong wages, good healthcare, and I think this contract is a step in the right direction. Right now, they’re paying us basically minimum wage. Everything’s so expensive now. We can barely afford to live on this wage. Some providers don’t even have enough for rent and groceries. This contract will go a long way in fixing these issues.”

The union bargaining team also gained 0.20 cents toward healthcare for dental and vision. San Benito County home care providers were the only ones in the Central Coast that didn’t have access to healthcare coverage. This will remain a priority for union members in future negotiations to keep moving forward.

SEIU Local 2015 is committed to advocating for policies that support in-home care providers and those they care for, including livable wages and benefits, as well as access to training and professional development opportunities.
To learn more about SEIU Local 2015 visit or on social media @SEIU2015.