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
March 12, 2024
Posted in Press Release
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As older adults and those with disabilities go without needed care,
caregivers are leaving the industry for better paying jobs

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 450,000 nursing home workers and home care providers—rallied at the Tulare County Board of Supervisors to support their contract negotiations and fight for livable wages.

The IHSS program in Tulare county is in crisis. Long-term care workers in Tulare are struggling to make ends meet, prompting many to leave the long term care industry altogether. One in five home care providers say they may leave the industry, citing low wages and lack of benefits. Last year, there were more than 324,000 unused authorized care hours, meaning that folks who needed care could not get a provider. 10,000 people in the nation turn 65 every day—as the aging population accelerates, we need to retain and invest in our long term care providers. A wage increase for Tulare caregivers will help them support themselves and their families, as well as attract and retain the caregivers that the county’s families desperately need. Unless these become better jobs, care providers will continue to leave this profession for fast food, warehouse, retail, restaurant and other jobs that have started paying substantially more.

Nationally, in-home care workers are 87% women, 62% people of color, and 31% are immigrants—and they are struggling with low wages and lack of benefits. Approximately 75% of IHSS caregivers in California report being underpaid for the essential work they do. Huge majorities indicate that they are struggling: 84% listed financial security as a top concern, followed by wages at 82%, retirement benefits 80%, and 75% healthcare benefit. 

“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:

“IHSS work is incredibly important, and it’s crucial that the Tulare County Board of Supervisors truly comprehend and know: It’s not just a job — it’s vital services that deserves recognition and support from those we vote into leadership,” said Maria Paredez, a Tulare County IHSS provider and an SEIU 2015 member. Read Maria’s full story here:

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.