Fresno County Public Authority In-Home Support Services Program Information
FRESNO, CA, Tuesday, October 1, 2019 - The Fresno County Board of Supervisors and Fresno County Public Authority continue to negotiate with the Providers’ Union SEIU2015 in an effort to reach agreement to support services for the qualifying individuals in our community through the In-Home Supportive Services Program (IHSS).
This News Release provides some background information about the IHSS program, as well as the County’s role in administering the program.
The current annual cost of the IHSS program in Fresno County is approximately $363 million. Of this, $43.5 million is paid by Fresno County and the remaining amount is funded by State and Federal dollars. With the IHSS program growing at an approximate rate of 9% each year, associated costs continue to increase, creating challenges to sustain the program and placing an increased financial burden on County budgets throughout the state.
As of July 2019, more than 17,100 IHSS workers in Fresno County provided care for more than 19,100 active cases at their current hourly compensation rate of $12.85. This is equivalent to the State’s minimum wage of $12.00 per hour, plus 85 cents per hour for benefits.
IHSS workers are not County employees. Generally, the Public Authority is deemed the Provider’s employer for purposes of collective bargaining; however, unlike a typical employer, it is not the Public Authority but instead the individual receiving the Provider’s services who is responsible to hire, supervise, and fire the IHSS worker.
The wages paid to Fresno County IHSS workers are currently equal to those paid to IHSS workers in 33 of California’s 58 Counties, including the majority of those in the Central Valley (Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tulare). At this time, in the remaining Counties, 14 offer IHSS $12.50 per hour or less, four offer between $12.60 and $12.96 per hour, and nine Central Coast and Bay Area Counties pay above $13.00 per hour.
These wages are set to increase annually by $1 per hour with the State-mandated minimum wage increases. By 2023, the final year of minimum wage increases, IHSS workers will have realized a 36% increase in pay over a five-year span. To put this in perspective, this average is more than double what County employees received collectively during the same period.
Additionally, County employees received pay reductions during the last recession while IHSS workers did not, and with such wage reductions only recently being fully restored.
As IHSS wages continue to rise and the program continues to expand, so too will the financial obligation of the County and our taxpayers to fund the program. As negotiations continue, it is the County’s goal to find a solution that is fair to those who provide such an important service for our residents in need, and one that is also fiscally sustainable for the County now and in the future.