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United Domestic Workers Union Request a Raise

Union Represents About 3,000 In-Home Caregivers Throughout County Paid $12.10 an Hour

Photo: Paul Wellman In-home caregivers with the United Domestic Workers union stand outside the County Administrative Building after requesting higher wages at the supervisors’ hearing on Tuesday.

About 30 members of the United Domestic Workers union, all wearing bright-green T-shirts, showed up to politely urge the county supervisors to show more flexibility at the bargaining table. The union represents about 3,000 in-home caregivers throughout Santa Barbara County who are currently paid $12.10 an hour. “That’s just 10 cents above minimum wage,” noted union spokesperson Yesenia Decasaus. On the table, she said, was a combination of state and federal funds that could increase that by $1.20 an hour. One speaker asked who was going to care for the aging baby boomers ​— ​the so-called Silver Tsunami ​— ​“if there are not enough caregivers?” Another speaker declared, “I am not a throwaway person,” adding she had no intention of being “institutionalized” when she got old. If not for in-home caregivers, she asked, who would take care of “the high-school lunch ladies, the janitors’ wives?” Supervisor Das Williams praised the union speakers for being “clear, civil, and positive.” The supervisors met in closed session to discuss the status of negotiations.

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