San Mateo County Home Health Workers Ask Board of Supervisors for Increased Wages
San Mateo County home health care workers on Tuesday held a rally in Redwood City calling for higher wages, the San Jose Mercury News reports. The group, which includes 1,600 county workers who provide at-home care for seniors and people with disabilities, agreed to wages of $8.50 per hour during contract negotiations last year with the county Board of Supervisors. But now "many [workers] believe they deserve more," the Mercury News reports. Although the workers, who are represented by the Service Employees International Union Local 715, have yet to request specific increases, some workers have said they would like a raise to $9.50 an hour, the Mercury News reports. But Supervisor Rich Gordon said that the state will only cover the $8.50 per hour wage, meaning that if wages are increased, San Mateo County will be responsible for the difference. Gordon added that while he recognizes that San Mateo workers earn a lower wage than what other Bay Area home care workers receive, the "position of San Mateo County has been that we will pay a wage that maximizes our reimbursement from the state." Board President Jerry Hill said, "I certainly agree with [workers'] comments and with their desires and needs. The amount they receive is not a living wage." He added, however, that with state and county budget constraints, an increased wage is not likely this year. Contract negotiations between the union and county could continue for the next several months (Seyfer, San Jose Mercury News, 4/17).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.