IHSS union asks for pay raise

IMPERIAL COUNTY, Calif. – Thousands of Imperial Valley in home care workers complain they’re not being cared for in return claiming they’re not making enough money. Members of United Domestic Workers are asking Imperial County officials to increase their current salary.

Union members ripped a contract in two before the board of supervisors Tuesday morning unhappy with the latest contract drafted by the board. Currently the 4,000 plus in-house support service (IHSS) employees make $9.50 an hour, which they say is not enough.

“If providers make more money their clients are going to be better because they’ll have money for gas, they’ll have money, extra money for the little things that they need, which the IHSS does not pay them.” said union member Linda Zavala.

Union representatives say they’re asking for an immediate $0.30 raise and an hourly rate of $10.50 as soon as California’s minimum wage goes up to $10 an hour.

“They are saying no to anything of wages to us, only the increase of insurance. We do want the insurance increase but what about our wages, there is nothing here for wages.” said Zavala.

Officials with the county’s IHSS public authority, say they cannot comment on the issue.

“Currently we are in labor negotiations and unfortunately, due to policy, I cannot comment on anything that has to do with negotiations.” said Rosyo Ramirez who is the IHSS Public Authority.

Union members say they’ve kept up demands for 6-months  and will continue asking for what they say is fair.

About The Author

Eduardo Santiago joined the FOX 9 and ABC 5 news team in February, 2012. That’s the same year KECY launched its very first local newscast. He has been covering local news in Yuma and the Imperial Valley since his start as a KYMA photojournalist in 2006. During his decade in broadcasting, Eduardo has covered some of the biggest stories in the Desert Southwest – from President Bush’s visit to Yuma, Ariz. to the uncovering of drug tunnels that span the US-Mexico border. One of the most memorable stories Eduardo covered was the 2010 Easter Earthquake that rocked the Imperial Valley, Mexicali, and Yuma. Eduardo, along with his news team, won an award from the Associated Press for best coverage of an ongoing story following the quake. Before he made his move to TV, Eduardo was just a kid born in East Los Angeles, where he spent his early childhood. His parents moved him to Mexicali, B.C. Mexico, where he did most of his elementary school education. He finally landed in El Centro, where he graduated from Central Union High School in 2005. Eduardo is currently a student at Imperial Valley College. You can find Eduardo hanging out in the Imperial Valley and Yuma with his family on any given weekend. His off-screen passion is playing guitar and sports.

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