In-Home Care Providers Win Significant Wage Increases in Contract with Tulare County
Tulare County to Support Wages Remaining at Least $0.60 Above Minimum Wage
Tulare County, CA – The in-home supportive services (IHSS) caregivers of SEIU Local 2015 ratified their Union contract with Tulare County on August 12, 2021. The long and often strenuous fight to protect the basic rights of caregivers culminated in significant wins in wage increases. The newest contract negotiations have set a pathway to reach $15.60 by January of next year, maintaining a wage at least $0.60 above minimum wage for caregivers.
“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. Through the caregivers’ work at the bargaining table Tulare County workers who previously earned $14.00 an hour are now earning $14.60 an hour as approved by the State today, marking huge strides in upending wage disparities.”
In rural communities such as Tulare County, which has a large Latinx community, there often tends to be little or no healthcare infrastructure, designating frontline caregivers in these areas as a deeply critical resource for basic care. These recent contract wins reflect the indispensable work these workers have and continue to provide for their community at large. These essential community members would not have found this same success in negotiating this contract win 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.
“I am a proud union member and excited about finally getting to the end of negotiations after a year and half,” said Tulare bargaining team member Richare Dituri. “IHSS providers fought hard for this wage increase while the Board of Supervisors nickel and dimed us!”
“These are major steps forward we are making here in Tulare County this week. In-Home Supportive Services workers have never backed down from their unwavering dedication to the elderly and disabled clients they serve everyday. They have weathered unlivable wages and neglect for far too long – both before and during the pandemic,” said SEIU Local 2015 Executive Vice President Dereck Smith. “We’re happy to see the strides the County is making in finally recognizing these disparities but our work isn’t over. We have a ways to go before we reach the $20 wage all caregivers deserve. It’s time for $20.”
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.