San Bernardino County Home Health Workers Vote to Join SEIU Local 434B
Home health care workers in San Bernardino County have voted to unionize, which could give them an advantage in contract negotiations, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports. According to results of a five-week mail-in ballot election, 96% percent of workers voted to join the Los Angeles-based Service Employees International Union Local 434B. The election had a 56% return rate; the county has about 10,000 home health workers. The election results are expected to be certified Tuesday by the county Board of Supervisors, and contract negotiations could begin next week. Union President Tyrone Freeman said the group's "first order of business" will be to seek a wage increase from $7.11 per hour to $8.50 per hour. Most of the wages for home health care workers come from state and federal funds, the Press-Enterprise reports. Fred Aguiar, chair of the county Board of Supervisors, said that the county's budget situation will determine the amount of wages it can provide, adding, "The question is just how much the state can pay and the county can match. These are discussions we'll have to go through" (Ghori, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 6/7).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.