Thursday, March 14, 2013

IHSS County Home Care Workers Reach Agreement

by nicholasj on March 13, 2013 with 0 Comments in Featured , Humboldt

Eureka, CA – For county homecare workers like Garberville’s Margaret Lewis, it’s been a long road, rife with struggle and sleepless nights. But today, thanks to the efforts of homecare workers like Margaret, Humboldt County’s homecare community has reason to smile. Early this afternoon the county announced its approval of an agreement with the union that represents over 1,400 county homecare workers. The agreement includes a wage increase for the lowest paid homecare workers in California and marks significant progress towards the conclusion of a difficult contract campaign.

“I’m glad we’re finally able to move forward. The real winners today are the people we care for. Better pay for county Caregivers means better care for our seniors and disabled,” said Lewis following a closed session where the county’s Board of Supervisors, acting as the Governing Board of the IHSS Public Authority, approved an agreement that included a historic first-time wage increase for county homecare workers.

The agreement comes after nearly two years of efforts to bargain a first-time contract for county homecare workers that included weekly testimony at Board of Supervisor meetings, public rallies, a Fact Finding hearing, multiple mediation attempts, and an extensive media campaign. County homecare workers were joined in their efforts by the county’s seniors and disabled, fellow labor organizations, faith leaders, elected officials and various county residents and organizations supportive of homecare. Prior to the agreement, county homecare workers had never received a wage increase above the state minimum wage.

“Today is a great victory for homecare workers that have lived in poverty for over a decade in Humboldt County. I’m happy that our members now have a chance to ratify their first ever contract,” said CUHW Statewide President Gail Ennis.

The agreement has yet to be ratified by county homecare workers and must also receive final approval from the state and county before the negotiated wage increase takes effect. A mail ballot election will be conducted by a state mediation service to ratify the agreement.


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  1. Good deal. Go Margaret. I was earning $10/hr (supplemented by family relatives from the minimum wage otherwise received) when I did my paid in-home care work for awhile. I got into the work after doing some hospital work decades ago and then hospice care for months for my mother and found out it's a really vital part of all healthcare systems. And is not adequately compensated.

  2. I just wish they would raise the minimum wage to something above poverty levels.

  3. I didn't mean to diminish the work done by you and others to do the right thing and take care of their friends and relatives, I think they should be paid more than the minimum wage and I still think the minimum wage should be raised.


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