In-Home Care Providers – Mostly Women of Color – Win Historic Wage Increases in Contract with Santa Clara County
Santa Clara County to Pay $18.54 an hour by 2023, Getting Workers Closer to Their Call for $20 Wage Floor
Santa Clara County, CA – The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted to adopt their contract with the 25,000 in-home supportive services (IHSS) caregivers of SEIU Local 2015 on August 17th. The agreement went to the Board of Supervisors after Union members voted to ratify it on July 29. The long and often strenuous fight to protect the basic rights of caregivers culminated in historic wage increases. The newest round of negotiations offers a total of $18.54 an hour for Santa Clara workers – the second highest IHSS wage to arrive in the state of California by 2023.
“Today’s modern homecare system has roots that go back to the enslaved Blacks and poor immigrants—almost always women—who took care of day-to-day household needs,” said SEIU Local 2015 President April Verrett. “The unscrupulous heritage has had long term effects on this underpaid and undervalued workforce. But that stops here. The tireless fight from caregivers at the bargaining table secured an increase of $2.92 above the current wage for Santa Clara caregivers of $15.62, marking huge strides in upending wage disparities.”
“Words cannot express the relief and joy I feel as we close out our contract fight today,” said first time bargaining team member Daniel Robinson. “So many of us IHSS providers have gone far too long living off of a nickel and dime wage, forcing us to double up on multiple jobs just to survive. It’s not right. We’re tired, but our work has finally paid off in some record-breaking wins. I’m proud of the work we’ve achieved here.”
Bargaining members would not have found this same success obtaining the substantial wage increases within the Santa Clara contract without the unwavering support of the Union, which has fought to secure contracts across the state of California to ensure its members receive fair wages.
“The tireless fight these members have put up over the past year has surmounted to record breaking wages for IHSS workers in Santa Clara County,” said SEIU Local 2015 Executive Vice President Arnulfo de la Cruz. “This brings us very close to the path of $20 an hour we as a Union are striving to secure for all caregivers. As we close out this contract, I have a renewed hope for pivotal changes to come within the care economy.”
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.
To learn more about SEIU Local 2015 visit www.SEIU2015.org or on social media @SEIU2015.
Representing over 400,000 long term care workers (home care, skilled nursing facility, and assisted living center workers), SEIU Local 2015 is the largest union in California. Its members are as diverse as the state’s population and united in their commitment to caring for California’s most vulnerable: seniors and the disabled.