The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will vote Tuesday on a motion by Supervisors Zev Yaroslavsky and Mark Ridley-Thomas to raise the rate it pays for elderly in-home care to $9.65 an hour from the current $9.
The text of the motion by Yaroslavsky and Ridley-Thomas follows.
MOTION BY SUPERVISORS MARK RIDLEY-THOMAS AND ZEV YAROSLAVSKY
In-Home Support Services Wage Increase
There are over 140,000 In-Home Support Services (IHSS) providers in the County of Los Angeles (County). These providers care for disabled and elderly residents in the County and enable service consumers to live safely and receive care in their homes and communities. IHSS providers currently earn $9.00 an hour and have not received a wage increase since 2007. Furthermore, in February 2011, IHSS consumers and providers received a 3.6% curtailment in their hours as the result of State budget actions. The Governor’s May Revise proposes even further curtailments to IHSS hours and services.
Studies have shown that as wages and benefits are increased, IHSS worker retention and quality of care increases. It is important that these workers who care for some of the most vulnerable members of communities earn at least a living wage. The Community First Choice Option (CFCO) currently pending approval by the federal government offers a potential funding source for a wage increase for IHSS providers. If approved, the CFCO would increase the rate that the federal government would match states for home and community-based services such as IHSS and allow a wage increase to be funded without impacting the County’s General Fund.
WE THEREFORE MOVE THAT THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS:
Instruct the Chief Executive Officer to:
(1) Appropriate $21.5M in the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) FY 2012-13 budget to allow the Personal Assistance Services Council (PASC) to negotiate an increase of IHSS provider wages up to $9.65 per hour with a target effective date of July 1, 2012 or 30 days after the CFCO has been approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS); and
(2) Appropriate these funds contingent upon approval by the State of California to increase its participation rate, the approval of the Community First Choice Option by CMS, and other factors that may impact the State’s participation rate.
a. If the State and federal approvals result in less than $21.5M in savings to the County, appropriate the lesser amount in the DPSS FY 2012-13 budget to allow the PASC to negotiate a compensation package based on funding availability.
b. Absent these approvals, the $21.5M in funding would revert to the County’s General Fund.