Home care workers at SEIU 775 have worked long and hard for wage reforms that have benefited other workers for years
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEATTLE (Jan. 31, 2019) — In-home caregivers represented by SEIU 775 are reaching a milestone on Feb. 1 – the first paychecks when all caregivers are paid at least $15 an hour.
Caregivers have been at the forefront of the movement to establish a $15 minimum wage in SeaTac, Seattle, and across the United States. Since SeaTac passed a $15 minimum-wage measure, 22 million workers nationwide have seen $68 billion in wage increases (National Employment Law Project: “Impact of the Fight for $15: $68 billion in Raises, 22 Million Workers”) thanks to local and state minimum-wage increases.
“We’ve been marching, rallying, and lobbying for this for years. I’m proud that caregivers now have a starting wage of $15 an hour,” said SEIU 775 President Sterling Harders.
Under union contracts negotiated between SEIU 775 and Washington State and private home care agencies, the starting wage for thousands of in-home caregivers increased to $15 an hour as of Jan. 1, 2019, which will be reflected on their Feb. 1 paychecks. Union-represented home care aides have a wage scale based on experience, and the most experienced caregivers with advanced training will earn more than $18 an hour.
Many caregivers gave up higher-paid work to take care of an elderly parent or child with a disability, so this increase not only compensates caregivers more fairly, but also ensures a decent quality of life for families who may have lost the income of their primary wage-earner.
“It’s a situation any of us could find ourselves in, so Washingtonians should feel good knowing that when our families face difficult times, a trained, dedicated caregiver will be there for us,” said Harders.
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. Our mission is to unite the strength of all working people and our families, to improve our lives and lead the way to a more just and humane world.