If ratified, would put caregiver pay above $18/hr for this majority women workforce
Tehama County, CA – Tehama’s In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) workers have reached a tentative agreement for a new union contract with the Tehama County Board of Supervisors. The county’s IHSS workforce is represented by SEIU Local 2015, the nation’s largest long-term care local and California’s largest labor union – representing more than 450,000 long-term care workers across the state.
The terms of the agreement would provide Tehama’s IHSS workers with:
- A first-ever wage supplement totaling $1.50 over the life of the contract, raising wages to $17 an hour upon the contract’s implementation, $17.75 next year, and $18.50 in January 2026
- First-time investments from the County for training and PPE for providers and consumers
- New and improved provisions for stewards, orientations, and grievances
If ratified, the new agreement will raise standards for more than 1,000 IHSS workers who provide essential in-home care to older adults and people with disabilities across Tehama County.
Relatedly, last week Calaveras County IHSS workers, also members of SEIU Local 2015, reached a tentative agreement on a new union contract with their Board of Supervisors.
Until now, both counties were two of four California counties to pay their IHSS workforce state minimum wage. The recent agreements are a result of SEIU Local 2015 members’ solidarity and resilience to get local governments to recognize IHSS as a vital workforce that cares for and protects community members.
Across the country roughly 10,000 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, these higher standards will help counties to continue to attract more care providers to this workforce (and retain them).
“I’ve been on our union’s bargaining team since 2009 when we first attempted to negotiate a contract. I could not be happier that we’ve finally come to an agreement that will help Tehama’s IHSS providers live easier, happier lives,” said Charles Watkins, a longtime IHSS provider. “I’m optimistic that we are raising awareness and public support for caregivers that will help us continue building our power in years to come.”
“I’m proud of this new agreement, which will help caregivers and care recipients across the county feel more secure,” said Suzette Miller, a Tehama IHSS provider. “Keeping the Tehama Board accountable to the needs of our community was empowering, and I’m excited to continue advocating for increased access to respite care to ensure recipients can still access services when providers take much-needed time off.”
Today’s announcement drew praise from SEIU Local 2015 leadership and marked a significant step forward in the union’s statewide push for improved standards and increased respect for home care workers.
“Today, I feel inspired by the solidarity and resilience that our members here in Tehama have exhibited over the past 10 years,” said SEIU Local 2015 Executive Vice President, Kim Evon. “The collective commitment and consequential victory of our members is an excellent display of our statewide effort to shape a future of care where older Californians and Californians with disabilities have the right to quality, affordable long-term care services.”
Over the coming weeks, Tehama’s IHSS workers will vote to approve the tentatively agreed upon union contract. Then, the Board of Supervisors will vote during their meeting on Tuesday, March 19. Upon successful approval by both parties, the contract – including wage increases – will take effect.
Since January 2020, SEIU Local 2015 has worked with counties and nursing homes across California to win more than 90 contracts, securing better workplace protections, improved wages and benefits, and a voice in the care its members provide. These investments in IHSS working conditions will help strengthen the infrastructure of care to help attract and retain caregivers.
To learn more about SEIU Local 2015 visit www.SEIU2015.org or on social media @SEIU2015.