Sonoma County Home Health Workers Vote to Join Union
Home health care workers in Sonoma County yesterday voted "overwhelmingly" to unionize, "pav[ing] the way for negotiations" on wages and health benefits, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. By approving the plan, Sonoma County home health workers join workers in all but three Bay area counties in forming unions, according to Mary Ruth Gross of the Service Employees International Union Local 250. Gross said that 718 of the Sonoma County's 2,100 home service workers voted yesterday, with 647 supporting unionization. Gross said that the workers, who are employed by the state and paid with combined federal, state and local funds, currently earn $6.56 an hour and do not receive benefits (Podger, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/10). Noting that home health workers in San Francisco earn $9.70 an hour with benefits, Gross that the Sonoma union would "immediately move" to commence wage negotiations with the county (Fricker, Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, 8/10). "We want people to have a pay raise and benefits by the first of the year, and hopefully before then," she said (San Francisco Chronicle, 8/10).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.