Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Approves $18 Million Pay Raise for Home Health Care Workers
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors yesterday voted to give a 75-cent-per-hour pay raise to a union of 85,000 home health care workers who provide care to the homebound elderly, infirm and disabled, the Los Angeles Times reports. The board's three Democrats voted for the $18 million pay increase for the Service International Employees Union, Local 434B, while the two Republicans voted against it. The raise, which brings the workers' pay to $7.50 an hour, "has been the subject of long and contentious debates among the supervisors and between the board and the union representing the workers," according to the Times. In 2000, the union lobbied Gray Davis (D) to approve a pay raise to $7.50 and hour plus health insurance. Los Angeles county officials said that the state "should shoulder the costs of pay increases," and initially they refused to provide matching funds for the raise. "It pains me that a year's worth of raises were held up for political reasons," Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who voted for the increase, said. Supervisor Don Knabe, who voted against the measure, "sharply criticized the raises" and noted that the increase came even as the Board of Supervisors is cutting costs in an effort to lower the county health system's $800 million budget deficit. Supervisor Mike Antonovich, who also voted against the raise, called the increase "another unfunded mandate," adding, "What the governor has adroitly done is pass [the cost of the raises] to local governments" (Briscoe, Los Angeles Times, 10/2).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.