Home > Uncategorized > Animal Care $12/hr but Human Care just Minimum Wage

Animal Care $12/hr but Human Care just Minimum Wage

ImageRichard Salzman points out the shame of it all, in a message sent to his Redwood Progressive mailing list:

Back in 1999, IHSS (in home care) workers were being paid minimum wage.  At that time, our Board of Supervisors were each being paid $46,563.00 a year. Today IHSS workers are still being paid minimum wage ($8.00 an hour) and the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, who voted against raising that minimum wage for IHSS workers are paid from $75,468.00 to $82,000.00 a year.  The ONLY requirement for their job is to attend one weekly Board of Supervisors meeting.  Nothing, absolute nothing else is legally required of them in order to earn this salary, but even if they do choose to put in a full 40 hours a week, that would still come out to at least $34.17 an hour.  And they get health benefits!  IHSS workers get no benefits and work for $8.00 an hour.  While it’s pointed out in the article below that no other county workers are getting raises either, no one else working for the county is being paid anywhere close to this low of a wage!  In fact the other entry level county jobs that require no special training or education are paid between 45% and 110% more per hour.  On top of all of this, keep in mind the county only actually pays 18 cents of each dollar of the IHSS workers’ salaries.  The balance of their wages are picked up by the State and Federal government, adding 82 cents of every dollar into the local economy.

Below are some examples of what other entry level county workers are paid (these are the starting hourly wages, most are actually paid much higher): <https://co.humboldt.ca.us/jobs/salary/>

$14.81 Administrative Secretary
$14.59 Airport Groundskeeper
$12.44 Animal Shelter and Care Attendant I
$15.96 Child Support Assistant III (MSS)
$11.49 Custodian
$13.54 Data Entry Operator II
$15.11 Eligibility Worker II (MSS)
$11.15 Homemaker (MSS)
$12.75 Library Assistant II
$12.25 Office Assistant II
$12.75 Park Caretaker I
$14.96 Road Maintenance Worker II
$12.01 Stock Clerk (MSS)
$16.86 Tire Repair Specialist

(elected officials:)
$34.17 Supervisor ($75,468.00 a year)
$46.43 Coroner  ($102.528.00 a year)
$50.32 Treasurer ($111.120.00 a year)

So Stock Clerks, Custodians, Tire Repair Specialist and Animal Shelter Care Attendants are all are paid significantly higher then IHSS workers.  None of these people are being over paid, but IHSS workers ARE being grossly UNDERPAID, and the irony is that they save taxpayers money by keeping medicaid recipients out of nursing homes, which would cost the government much, much more then paying their in-home caregivers closer to a decent wage.

Contact the Board of Supervisors and let them know their actions are shameful:

Jimmy R. Smith <jrsmith@co.humboldt.ca.us>
476-2391
Cliff Clendenen <cclendenen@co.humboldt.ca.us>
476-2392
Mark Lovelace <mlovelace@co.humboldt.ca.us>
476-2393
Virginia Bass <vbass@co.humboldt.ca.us>
476-2394
Ryan Sundberg <rsundberg@co.humboldt.ca.us>
476-2395

  1. July 17, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Great point!

  2. Mitch
    July 17, 2012 at 9:43 am

    When I worked for the county, I saw first-hand the level of penny-pinching at work in IHSS management. It’s not the county’s fault, it’s the state — the state is much more interested in catching a penny’s worth of fraud from a low income person than a million dollar’s worth of fraud from a party contributor.

    Things like cooking a meal, turning someone over in bed, and helping someone to the bathroom are assigned a proper number of minutes; take an extra five minutes to treat someone with dignity and you’ll be doing it on your own dime. And, god forbid you cook two people’s meals at once and bill the state for each individually — that makes you a criminal fraudster.

    The money invested in preventing people from getting 30 seconds more service than the state is forced by law to provide far exceeds any possible savings the program gets from fraud prevention. It probably makes up a substantial percentage of the cost of the program, and pays a lot of high level bureaucratic salaries. Next at the feeding trough is the upper management of the various social service agencies. Next comes the middle management of the agencies. And then, the pennies that remain gets doled out at minimum wage to the people who do the work… work most people would not be willing to do.

    Meanwhile, the Mitt Romneys of the world can claim residence wherever they want to, avoid taxes with Swiss bank accounts and Cayman Island investments, and run for President, and the same moronic dittohead jackasses who think the social safety net is giving people too nice a free ride praise him for his business brilliance. And a LOT of those jackasses populate the upper management of the social service agencies — they know how f’d up their agencies are because they’re the ones who’ve f’d them up (when they’re not sleeping on the job).

  3. Anonymous
    July 17, 2012 at 10:42 am

    If you’re going to call out the supes for earning big bucks while having a no-skills-required job, other than warming a seat, and ALSO single out shelter workers for attention (or any other position you mysteriously dub an entry-level position without explanation) in comparison to IHSS workers… you need to detail the minimum qualifications for both positions. Until we know the minimum qualifications for shelter jobs and IHSS jobs, Richard has failed to make his case.

  4. Just Watchin
    July 17, 2012 at 10:49 am

    I would have guessed that the democrats ran the social services programs in California, since they’ve controlled the government forever, and not “the Mitt Romneys of the world”. I’m surprised that George Bush didn’t get a mention.
    BTW……did you see that CalPers made 1% on their investments last year? A monkey could throw darts at a board and do better than that. State is looking more and more like Greece every day.

  5. Just Middle Finance
    July 17, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Bootstraps! We don’t need Socialist Health Care. Survival of those with the most money! The CEOs who created the policies which nearly bankrupted America deserve the bonuses, not the tellers who work at the banks. Ask yourself, Who helped create the most profit? Who created wealth?, whether from profits or from bailouts? Not the part-time bank teller.

  6. July 17, 2012 at 11:06 am

    In regards to a job description for a Care Provider, it depends on the recipient they are serving, where some may only need to the ability to do daily task of taking care of the house and shopping, while others may need nursing skills dealing with wounds to handling individuals with developmental disabilities; in dealing with concerns of aging.

    For fun, I invite anyone to push my chair with me for a day, I know a few who have for just a little bit of time and discovered it is not as they may think in getting around. Of course, I am more independent than many of the clients served by the IHSS program.

    One thing not recognized, the County determines the wages, and an Animal Shelter worker is paid $12 an hour plus, while a Care Provider through the IHSS Program is paid minimum wage of $8 with no benefits. Also, the County is not reimbursed for the pay to the Animal Shelter Worker, where the County is reimbursed 82% of the pay to the Care Provider up to $9.50 + $.60 benefits.

  7. Mitch
    July 17, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Just watchin,

    Here: http://fundresearch.fidelity.com/mutual-funds/category-performance-annual-total-returns/AA

    So that takes care of your one assertion of fact.

    Your George Bush line clearly causes you endless amusement. Since you are anonymous, you can go ahead and keep using it; if you used your name, I’d advise you that no one else finds it funny and it just makes people think you’re a fool.

    The state bureaucracy is probably equally the fault of the democrats and the republicans. You may remember that Gray Davis was thrown out of office for being hapless, and replaced with the orange guy (a real person of color, if ever there was).

  8. Bolithio
    July 17, 2012 at 11:22 am

    We don’t need Socialist Health Care.

    Your right. Its what we want. We also don’t need human rights, clean water, good paying jobs, baseball, beer, or anything fun at all. We could all be slave laborers for railroad barons. Its just that, we don’t want to, and we know our society and corporations produce enough resources and energy to provide a better life for everyone.

  9. Anonymous
    July 17, 2012 at 11:27 am

    And it was Republicans who wrote the legislation which made it virtually impossible to raise taxes, income or property, so as the need for home health workers increased, the funding for it dried up. The loss of state and local jobs in the public sector is not being mitigated by private sector hiring and is, in fact, reducing demand in the private sector because, of course, working people spend more money and require less in the way of “entitlements” than unemployed people. Imagine that!

  10. Anonymous
    July 17, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Just Middle Finance is posting satire Bolithio.

  11. Just Middle Finance
    July 17, 2012 at 11:59 am

    11:28 You are correct, Sir. Someone needs to speak for the Overlords, and Hi Fi is out on a bender. So I’m it.

  12. Amy Breighton
    July 17, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    IHSS workers are merely doing what comes natural to human beings.

    It takes many years of costly education and experience to learn to repress one’s conscience and keep your mouth shut amid systemic injustice, waste, petty corruption, and nepotism in order to rise to higher-paying levels of bureaucratic excellence in the U.S..

    Most successful bureaucrat-retirees will explain how you can never pay someone enough to endure the stress/illness it causes.

  13. Giggles
    July 17, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    One time on a field trip with students from Hoopa to the Logging Museum at Scotia, one of the girls noticed company script… that “funny money” they used to pay loggers which could only be spent at the company store.

    I will never forget her saying “OMG, they exploited white people, too!”

    I replied, “They still do.”

  14. Mitch
    July 17, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Just Middle Finance :

    11:28 You are correct, Sir. Someone needs to speak for the Overlords, and Hi Fi is out on a bender. So I’m it.

    The Jefferson playground day really got to him, huh? He’s still out.

  15. Anonymous
    July 17, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    What I heard is that HiFi went out on what was supposed to be a three hour tour, but there was a terrible storm, and now he’s marooned on a tropical sland. Fortunately the professor, Mary Anne, Gilligan and the Skipper are all there too, because other wise HiFi, his wife, and the movie star would soon starve.

  16. High Finance
    July 18, 2012 at 8:29 am

    You love me, you really, really love me !

    The in-home care workers are drastically underpaid and that should be corrected immediately. Personally I blame Pres Bush, Ronald Reagan and Mitt Romney for it.

  17. Fuzzy
    July 18, 2012 at 8:41 am

    As you may have noticed, Mitch, from the previous post, Rex is the Supervisor to write to now, not Jimmy. May God help us.

  18. Mitch
    July 18, 2012 at 8:44 am

    The Howell’s were lovable fools, too. But Anonymous is right, they wouldn’t have done very well on Turtle Island without the help of the middle class people who had some sympathy for them.

  19. July 18, 2012 at 9:01 am

    I’m so glad I found your blog. You rock!

  20. Bohn Smuggler
    August 13, 2012 at 6:30 am

    The private sector pays for animal techs. I know, I know. But capitalism is the devil. You ever notice how once in a while all your deepest beliefs smash right into each other?

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