Fresno City Council Votes To Support Pay, Benefits Increase for Home Health Care Workers in Fresno County
The Fresno City Council yesterday voted 4-3 to support home health care workers seeking increased wages and benefits in a new contract with Fresno County, the Fresno Bee reports (Ellis, Fresno Bee, 6/11). The workers, who provide home health care services for elderly and disabled patients, participate in the In-Home Supportive Services program, which pays them with a combination of county, state and federal funds. Last summer, the workers joined Service Employees International Union Local 250, and last June they began negotiations with county officials for a contract that would increase wages from $6.75 per hour to $9.50 per hour and would provide health benefits (California Healthline, 2/6). Since then, negotiations have been progressing slowly, the Bee reports. All seven council members agreed that home health care workers need increased pay and benefits, but the council became divided over whether it was appropriate for the city to take a position as contract negotiations continue between SEIU and the county. County Supervisor Bob Waterson said the city council was "totally out of control on this. ... If they're going to get involved in county business, then are they going to put out the money for the thing?" City Council member Henry Perea, who sponsored the resolution, said many of the affected workers live in the city and therefore, "It is part of our job to advocate on behalf of our constituents" (Fresno Bee, 6/11).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.