Contract includes wage increases, healthcare, and increase for retirement; Top pay over $20/hr
SEATTLE, WA – Today, SEIU 775 caregivers overwhelmingly ratified their 2019-2021 home care contract with the State of Washington. This biannual contract was negotiated between Washington State and the SEIU 775, the Union was represented by a bargaining team comprised of 13 caregivers from across the state. The contract will improve conditions for not only state-paid home care providers but also caregivers at private home care agencies that contract with Medicaid, meaning over 45,000 Washington caregivers will be impacted.
The new contract includes:
- Wage increases of at least 8 percent for all state paid caregivers over the two years of the contract
- By June 2021, minimum hourly wages will be $16.72, and the top hourly wage with advanced training will be over $20 an hour
- Funding to cover healthcare inflation and protect caregiver healthcare
- Designated funds to continue and expand vital retention and safety programs like, “Caregiver Kicks” slip resistant safety shoes for caregivers
- Full funding for the statewide caregiver job matching app CarinaCare.com
- A new Advanced Behavioral Home Care Aide Specialist program to provide advanced training in working with clients with significant behavioral health problems
- An increase to the caregiver retirement fund, the first of its kind in the nation
“This contract is, yet again, one of the best homecare contracts in the nation,” said SEIU 775 President Sterling Harders, in the first week of her administration. “The AARP ranks Washington as the best state in the nation for long-term care, and having a stable quality home care workforce is one of the main reason why. Caregivers deserve a contract that minimizes turnover by providing healthcare, retirement and a living wage.”
“This contract gives me and my fellow members security. It is why I choose to be a part of the bargaining team,” said home care provider and bargaining team member, Darryl Johnson, a caregiver from Auburn. “We all want to be able to say we feel appreciated after a long day on the job, we all believe that being a caregiver is a title worthy of dignity and respect, and this contract makes that clear.”
Now that the contract has been ratified, it needs to be funded by the Washington State Legislature during the 2019 legislative session.
“Time and time again, caregivers have shown that they will always work to improve the conditions of the people they care for, and other caregivers,” said Adam Glickman, SEIU 775 Secretary-Treasurer and Chief Negotiator. “During the legislative session, caregivers will make sure every single member of the Washington State legislature knows that funding the contract means Washington will be able to recruit and retain caregiver to serve the growing number of seniors and people with disabilities that need care.”
SEIU 775 represents more than 45,000 long-term care workers providing quality in-home care, nursing home care and adult day health services in Washington State and Montana.