SEIU Local 2015 in-home care workers pack Sacramento County Supervisors meeting, seek higher wages

In-home care recipient Braden Murphy urges the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors to pay IHSS workers a higher wage during the April 11, 2023, meeting. | 


During the first 90 minutes of today's Sacramento County Board of Supervisors meeting, many speakers pressed the five-member board heard to increase pay for members of SEIU Local 2015. That union represents in-home care workers in Sacramento County.

Along with telling personal tales of working as part of Sacramento County's In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Program, the speakers uniformly pleaded with the supervisors to increase hourly wages to $20. The IHSS provides in-home care for disabled people, many of whom receive care from family members.

One recipient of IHHS services seeking better wages for those caring for him was Braden Murphy. In his remarks (see entire commentary in the video posted below), Murphy, who has cerebral palsy, said that in-home care workers are doing important work for society but are barely making it economically.

Murphy, who identified as a "bold progressive," said while he does not believe in conservative policy, he noted even from a conservative fiscal view, paying better wages makes sense. 

"If people don't have caretakers, those people are going to be homeless; where are we going to put them," he said. "If you don't give them [in-home care workers] the wages they're asking for, then they are going to be homeless, then you are going to figure out what to do with them." 

Murphy added, "It's going to cost the county way more not to just pay the workers what they deserve for the job they are already working."

Speaking on behalf of SEIU Local 15 was Estuardo Polanco, the group's organizing coordinator for the Sacramento region. During his remarks, Polanco noted there are 30,000 IHSS workers in Sacramento County paid $16.50 an hour working under an expired contract. 

"The Local 2015 negotiating team has given the county all of our proposals, and now it's on your hands," Polanco said (see entire commentary in video below). 

Polanco said the IHSS workers are struggling with inflationary pressures. The low wages and higher costs hurt worker retention, which in turn affects in-home care recipients. 

Additionally, Polanco claimed there are 2.4 million unused work hours in the county's IHSS budget. Polanco said this means there are unmet needs of disabled people, and as California's population ages, the situation will be exasperated unless better wages are offered. 

Theses and about two dozen similar remarks were made during public comment on non-agenda items, so the four supervisors in attendance (Patrick Kennedy was absent) could not address the concerns. 
   






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