Pay rises $2 an hour in new contract for home care workers

The deal between SEIU and the State of Oregon also adds holidays and a step pay system.

About 30,000 Oregon home care workers have ratified a new two-year union contract negotiated by SEIU Local 503. The contract raises pay by $0.90 an hour (5.7%) Jan. 1, 2022, and another $1.10 (6.7%) Jan. 1, 2023, bringing the pay rate up to $17.77 an hour in the final six months of the contract. Also in 2023, for the first time, Oregon home care workers will get holiday pay—time and a half for the first eight hours of work, for July 4, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

To acknowledge their service during the pandemic, the contract includes a hazard pay check of at least $2,000 for home care workers who worked from March 2020 to April 2021. Checks went out Dec. 1.

A side agreement also commits to develop a new step pay system that will reward workers for sticking around, starting 2024. 

Home care workers are paid to help seniors and people with disabilities in their homes, primarily with funding from the federal Medicaid program.

Members voted overwhelmingly to ratify the agreement on Nov. 12. It runs through June 30, 2023.

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