Everett Herald | May 19, 2023
By Joy Borkholder
Home care providers are celebrating big wins from the state legislative session, including a two-year budget that increases the starting wage to $21 per hour for most home care providers.
“People feel good about the Legislature taking their concerns seriously,” said Adam Glickman, secretary-treasurer of SEIU 775, a union that represents about 45,000 independent providers. “Caregivers feel like their work is being valued.”
Another 10,000-plus “agency providers” are employed by smaller agencies who negotiate separate contracts. Those contracts are typically very similar to each other and to the independent providers in wages and benefits, Glickman said.
The $762 million over two years funds not only a base wage increase of about 10% for independent providers, but also affordable health insurance for caregivers’ children, as well as improvements in paid time off, retirement benefits and mileage reimbursement. Glickman called the wage and benefit increase a “significant investment” in workers and their clients.
Joy Hochstetler, 25, spends her weekends as a respite home care provider for her twin brother, Joshua. He and the twins’ mom, Mae, also live in Lynnwood. Joshua Hochstetler has autism and epileptic seizures, ADHD, anxiety, depression and oppositional defiance disorder. The social isolation of the pandemic has been especially hard on him, according to his sister and mom.