LOS ANGELES COUNTY: Home Care Workers Win 50 Cent Raise
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 Tuesday to boost home care workers' wages 50 cents, to $6.75 an hour, but workers contend that the raise is still too low to "make ends meet," the Los Angeles Times reports. Supervisor Mike Antonovich cast the lone dissenting vote, arguing that funding the pay increase would "take too much away from other crucial county services." County home care workers, who currently make $6.25 an hour without receiving health benefits, were seeking a raise to $7.50 per hour plus health coverage, an offer proposed by Gov. Gray Davis (D) earlier this year. However, that raise has been held up as state and county officials squabble over how much each side should contribute to the wage increase. The state wanted the county to pay 35% of the governor's proposed wage increase at a cost of $18 million, but county officials argued that they did not have the funds. As a compromise, the county will foot 35% of the 50 cent wage hike at a cost of nearly $12 million. Although county supervisors agreed that the approved 50 cent raise was "still too low," they maintained that only the state can provide the necessary funding to boost wages further. The pay hike takes effect Nov. 1 (Martin, 9/13).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.