SEIU 775 members have ratified a strong home care contract that makes real improvements to lift caregivers out of poverty. Still, before we get our raises and benefits, the Washington state Legislature must include funding for our contract and agency parity in their 2015-17 biennial budget. As Washington State begins its 2015 legislative session, we’ll be in Olympia fighting for our clients’ rights and the raises we deserve.
The contract features some major milestones for individual providers as well as agency home care aides:
- An average wage of more than $14.37/ hour;
- Raises every six months, averaging nearly $2.50/hour by the end of the contract;
- A new top step that will reach $15.40 per hour;
- A new retirement plan for homecare providers;
- Increased paid time off;
- The right to participate in our clients’ assessments;
- Funding for a new referral registry to help caregivers get more hours by finding additional clients; and
- Preserving all the gains we fought for in our previous contract, including our health insurance benefits, workers compensation coverage, and quality training.
We’ll be fighting for all these vital benefits in Olympia this session. By funding our contract, the Legislature will say that they support fair wages and respect for caregivers, and a better life for the clients we care for.