On June 15, the Legislature voted to protect continuity of care for our clients and fund overtime pay for IHSS caregivers for the first time in history. Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 855 into law, which outlines the rules around pay for overtime, travel time and medical accompaniment for IHSS caregivers.
SB 855 will:
- Fund overtime pay for IHSS providers, not to exceed a weekly limit of 61 hours per provider (this will go up to 66 hours per week if we are able to end the 7% cut)
- Any hours worked over 40 in one week will be paid at a rate of time-and-a-half
- This is scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2015, but could be delayed up to another year and a half–join us in telling the Department of Labor they cannot deny these basic labor protections any longer.
- The overtime figure of 61 hours per week was reached by dividing the maximum number of hours an IHSS client can receive and dividing by the weeks in a month (4.33). This ensures continuity of care for the greatest number of clients.
- Fund the payment of travel time to and from multiple clients in the same day, up to 7 hours per week (this does not count toward the 66 hour limit)
- Fund the payment of time spent accompanying clients to medical appointments
This is a historic win for caregivers and our clients, and is the result of our collective efforts over the past six months to protect homecare in California. Together we:
- Made several thousand phone calls to the Governor and our lawmakers
- Lobbied legislators in Sacramento every month since January
- Descended upon the Capitol for press conferences, budget hearings, and rallies
- Got the word out by sharing our stories online and in the press
“I testified at the Capitol this year because the proposals would have devastated my son and family,” said Placer county caregiver Cindy Chapman. “Now I can start thinking about how overtime pay will make a positive difference in our lives.”
Mary Burch, a caregiver from Stanislaus, would have been similarly affected by a 40 hour cap on caregiver hours. “This is a victory for caregivers and UDW. If the governor’s plan had gone through, I would have lost my home and my daughter Christy would have been sent to a group home. Now we need to keep standing up to get our hours back.”
As a union, caregivers are still fighting to end the 7% cut to IHSS hours. And we will keep fighting until we win—because we know that every hour of care is critical to our clients and loved ones.
To find out how you can join the fight and to stay informed about the budget and other issues impacting homecare, make sure to sign up for our email list and text message alerts above. Let’s protect homecare together!