May 14, 2015


City News Service 



A majority of Los Angeles County voters support raising the minimum wage for home-care workers to $15 an hour, according to a poll released recently by the union representing the workers. The poll, based on a survey of 750 “likely voters” from across all five county supervisor district, found that more than 70 percent of respondents support raising the current hourly wage of $9.65 for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) workers.


“These results echo the sentiments that are being felt throughout the state, and the nation — workers should earn a wage that allows them to afford basic necessities like food, clothing, and rent,” said Ruth Bernstein of EMC Research, the firm that conducted the poll. “L.A. County residents agree that $9.65 is not enough to survive on and home care providers deserve to make more.”


The poll also found that voters believe IHSS workers should not have to rely on government assistance for basic necessities. According to union officials, 81 percent of L.A. County home care workers live in poverty.


“As the cost of everything around us is on the rise, it is critical that home care workers are lifted out of poverty,” said IHSS provider Vanessa Pena. “We need a pathway to $15 an hour so that we’re able to provide for our families while doing this important work that we love to do. Simply put, we can’t survive on $9.65.”


Wages were last raised to the current $9.65 mark in 2012, when the county approved a 65-cent increase. Members of the Service Employees International Union-United Long Term Care Workers marched through downtown Los Angeles in April as part of a major contract negotiation campaign termed We Care L.A. The county is in the midst of a series of public meetings to discuss the possibility of raising the minimum wage for all workers in the county. The city of Los Angeles is considering a series of options, including one that would raise the wage to $13.25 an hour by 2017 and to $15.25 an hour by 2019.

Category: Business