Tulare County long-term care workers—primarily women of color—rally at Board of Supervisors office for livable wages

Press Contact:
DKC News, seiu@dkcnews.com
April 19, 2024

Tulare County, CA Today, Tulare In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) workers—members of SEIU Local 2015, the nation’s largest long-term care union, and California’s largest labor union representing more than 470,000 nursing home workers and home care providers—rallied at the Tulare County Board of Supervisors to demand livable wages. 

Higher wages will help caregivers, who are most often women of color, support themselves and their families. A recent poll of in-home care workers in Tulare County underscored the urgent challenges that many of these essential workers face. Some of the distressing findings include:   

  • More than 80% of IHSS providers in Tulare County reported working multiple jobs – at least some of the time – to make ends meet. That’s 4 out of every 5 providers in the county.
  • More than 40% of IHSS providers in Tulare County currently rely on public assistance programs like CalFresh and MediCal on low poverty wages. 
  • Approximately 63% of IHSS providers in Tulare County struggle with housing payments, and more than half of all providers spend between 50% to 75% of their income on rent and mortgage.
  • Approximately 60% IHSS providers in Tulare County are sometimes or often unable to access medication because they cannot afford the cost of prescriptions.
  • More than 50% reported sometimes or often prevented from visiting the doctor due to concerns about cost.

“The work requires skill sets that only human touch and empathy can bring. It comes naturally to me. It’s something I really love doing. I think about it this way: when I get really old someday, or if I somehow got disabled, I’d want to be cared for by someone who actually cares. This is what I need Tulare County Board of Supervisors to think about when it’s their turn in life,” said Thomas Magana, a Tulare County IHSS provider and an SEIU 2015 member. Read Thomas’ full story here:

“My electric bill is $200. I can’t fully cover the electric bill, so I’m only able to pay off half; I’m constantly back paying and hoping they don’t cut off my lights. I’ve filed for assistance with the county, but they’ve denied me. I don’t even qualify for food stamps, even though I need them and they’d help a lot.” said Maria Paredez, a Tulare County IHSS provider and an SEIU 2015 member. Read Maria’s full story here: https://medium.com/@SEIU2015/care-providers-with-illnesses-like-mine-work-hard-so-why-cant-we-get-tulare-county-to-work-hard-62f2e5a43033

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. We urge the Tulare County Board of Supervisors to work with us to address these pressing issues and ensure that all who qualify have access to the care they need and deserve in the comfort of their own homes.
To learn more about SEIU Local 2015 visit www.SEIU2015.org or on social media @SEIU2015.