MOC stands up for living wages for caregivers

Caregiving is often unpaid and when it is paid, it is too often underpaid. IHSS caregivers are often women and people of color and live out of the county due to high rents in Marin.

MOC's Aging and Disabilities Team has been working to increase In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) caregivers’ wages. When we began researching this issue, their wage was $16.85/hour. It has since gone up 10 cents. Our goal is $26/hr, a living wage.

MOC has held five civic academies throughout the county with over 200 people attending. Those academies were opportunities for learning and teaching, really deepening our understanding of the issues.

On March 9, 2023, we held an Action in San Rafael, which 260 people attended including Supervisors Rodoni and Sackett. They committed to learning more about the living wage in relation to what share the county puts in. The wages are based on a complicated formula involving county, state, and federal dollars.

We’ve met with the County Administrator and individual Supervisors.

On May 24, 2023, MOC leaders, along with an SEIU 2015 representative, met in Sacramento with Assemblymember Connolly and Senator McGuire’s chief of staff seeking their support to increase the state’s contribution to IHSS caregiver wages.

We recently had a Zoom meeting with One LA, another IAF organization, interested in working on this issue in the Los Angeles area. Their involvement will help draw statewide attention to the living wage issue.

On June 20, 2023, 23 MOC leaders showed up in person to the Budget Hearing of the Marin County Board of Supervisors to demonstrate our support around this issue. MOC leader Pat Langley voiced concern for IHSS caregivers' low wages and urged the County to approve an increase to the Living Wage Rate. 

Marin County’s proposed 2024 budget will raise the Living Wage Rate to at least $18 an hour, but that doesn’t compare with surrounding counties. San Francisco will soon pay IHSS caregivers $25 an hour. If we don’t act, Marin will lose caregivers to other counties willing to pay more.

Read more about MOC's involvement with this issue in the following publications from the Marin Independent Journal:

Letter to the Editor by MOC leader Wendy Todd – April 19, 2023
Article quoting MOC leader Meredith Parnell discussing IHSS caregiver wages – June 4, 2023
Marin IJ Editorial: "Marin should listen to calls for expanded senior services" – June 10, 2023
Marin Voice by MOC leaders Ruth Vosmek and Lauren Vreeland-Long: "County needs to raise wages for in-home health workers" – June 18, 2023