«At the start of the pandemic, at-home caregivers in Washington state saw their wages go up with a boost from hazard pay. Two years later, inflation is erasing the pay bump.

Wages actually have gone up for caregivers from $19 per hour in May 2020 to $19.26 today, but inflation means the purchasing power of their pay now is actually $17.46.

Gwen Goodfellow, an at-home caregiver, said the increase was welcome at first.

‘Having the hazard pay was really nice. It made us feel more comfortable to do, like, grocery orders instead of going to the store and allow us to be a little bit more protective,’ Goodfellow acknowledged. ‘Then, as time went on, the cost of things went up, and it’s not a bonus at this point.’

Goodfellow’s union, Service Employees International Union Local 775, was instrumental in negotiating hazard pay for caregivers.»

To read the full story with SEIU 775 member Gwen Goodfellow, please visit Public News Service.

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