OC Supervisors Sign Off On Raise for Home Care Workers

Orange County’s publicly funded home care workers, who help elderly, blind and disabled people with housework, meal preparation and other daily tasks, will see a raise to $10.20 per hour under a new labor contract.

Under the deal, which was approved by the union late last month and the Orange County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, the workers – who currently make $9.30 an hour, will see a raise beginning Feb. 1, 2016.

The amount is 20 cents above the new $10 per hour California minimum wage that kicks in at the beginning of January. The deal expires at the end of June.

The workers had been seeking a raise to $10.75 an hour, with union reps at the United Domestic Workers of America arguing that it would be a way for supervisors to show how much they value the blind, disabled and elderly residents who are served by the workers.

California’s home care worker program, formally known as In-Home Supportive Services, dates back to the 1970s, when it was signed into law by then-Gov. Ronald Reagan.

The idea was to provide an alternative to costly institutionalization of blind, elderly and disabled people and allow them to live more independently in the community.

Today, roughly half a million Californians are served by the program, which is funded by a mix of federal, state and county dollars. In Orange County, about 22,000 workers serve roughly 26,000 people.

You can contact Nick Gerda at ngerda@gmail.com, and follow him on Twitter: @nicholasgerda.

  • Jacki Livingston

    They want the county bigwigs to show how much they value the blind, elderly and disabled citizens? Honey, sweetie, they already did when they point blank refused to do anything about nursing homes stealing from their patient trust accounts with the help and aid of county employees. They profit from these people, when the payola hits their campaign funds. Don’t delude yourselves. They did this because the people who are aided by IHSS workers actually vote. They don’t want them to be competent in a nursing home. How could they steal all of their money that way? Logic…strictly against county policy.

  • Jasenn Zaejian

    Something positive for the workers from the BOS. Perhaps in the next year they might rethink this and raise it to $15 an hour to match some other state’s minimums. Home health care is an exceedingly emotionally and physically difficult occupation.

    • NHtoLA

      15 dollars an hour will make those jobs go away. In fact many will cut their hours so that they can still qualify for Government assistance. It’s not about a fair wage to them it’s about still being on the Government programs.