In February, neither freezing rain nor snow could keep dozens of caregivers away from Olympia to press legislators to fund our new home care contract with parity for agency providers.
Washington home care workers deserve to make a living wage and not be forced to struggle to make ends meet. That’s why caregivers from Eastern, Central, Southwest Washington and the Peninsula made the journey to tell legislators they should support home care workers and a $15/hour minimum wage.
This is an especially tough budget year in the Legislature, but our team of caregivers were determined to make the voices of 38,000 long-term care workers heard. Members met legislators and key staff, told their stories, and underscored their clients’ needs—making it clear that the home care workforce deserves to be fairly compensated, and our clients deserve high quality care.
In every meeting, we urged legislators to support what are fighting for:
- Starting wages that will reach $15/hour and more than $18/hour for the most experienced caregivers who complete additional training.
- New accountability for IPOne, including firm timelines for identifying and correcting problems.
- The State’s contribution to our new retirement plan will double.
- Increased paid time off.
- First-in-the-nation paid administrative time each month.
- A new health and safety program for caregivers.
By telling their stories, members worked hard to ensure that home care workers earn living wages and receive payment for the hours worked.
As the legislative session moves forward, members will continue to travel to Olympia to testify and speak up on behalf of caregivers in our state. By working together, we will amplify the need to fund the home care contract with parity for agency home care workers.
We’ll keep emailing and phoning our legislators as we work to pass legislation on these important long-term care issues.