Months of Action Result in Wage Increase That Will Eventually Reach $12.25/hour
Martinez, CA – Home care workers in Contra Costa County, represented by SEIU Local 2015, have ratified a new contract that raises their wage to $12.00 per hour as soon as the State can make the change, and to $12.25 per hour on January 1, 2017. The contract is on the agenda for a vote of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors at its Tuesday, March 15th meeting.
Home care workers currently make just $11.50 an hour and have not had a raise in more than seven years. The contract maintains their health care benefit, which the County had pushed to limit.
SEIU Local 2015 Provisional Officer Arnulfo De La Cruz was glad to reach a contract, but believes it should not have taken so long to achieve. “Home care providers, their clients and allies rallied for months at Board of Supervisors meetings,” he said. “This contract impacts those who care for our county’s most vulnerable population and should have been resolved sooner, but we are certainly glad that it is finally done.”
Union members voted overwhelmingly in favor of ratifying the agreement.
“We won our contract because we got organized and got members involved,” said home care worker John Roe, who was part of bargaining team. “Now we’re going to organize for $15.”
Home care worker Melody Lacy, also a member of the bargaining team, said “We got this victory because we have a union that is 100% focused on us as long-term care providers winning better wages and benefits.”
IHSS workers care for our low-income seniors and disabled neighbors, a tough but critical job that allows their clients to live at home with independence and dignity while being more cost effective than institutionalization. This work should be recognized and paid a livable wage.
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