Higher starting wage for caregivers in effect

A new minimum-wage of $15 an hour for unionized in-home caregivers in Washington has started showing up in their paychecks.
SEIU 775, the union that negotiated it as part of a 2019-21 contract with the state, said the salary boost will benefit approximately 45,000 state-paid homecare providers and caregivers at private homecare agencies.
The starting wage increased to $15 an hour as of Jan. 1, which was to be reflected on the workers’ Feb. 1 paychecks.
Union-represented homecare 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 the increase not only compensates caregivers more fairly, but also ensures a decent quality of life for families that may have lost the income of their primary wage-earner, said Sterling Harders, president of SEIU (Service Employees International Union) 775.
“We’ve been marching, rallying, and lobbying for this for years,” Harders said of the new starting wage.