CSAC Testifies on IHSS at Budget Committee Hearings
March 12, 2020
In the past week, both the Senate and Assembly Budget Subcommittees on Health and Human Services featured the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program on the agenda. CSAC was featured on panels at both hearings and provided an update on implementation of the 2019-20 County IHSS Maintenance of Effort (MOE), shared county progress on IHSS collective bargaining, and stated our opposition to stakeholder proposals related to IHSS collective bargaining.
CSAC and counties have worked closely with the Administration on numerous efforts to ensure a successful implementation of the new MOE. This includes convening a county workgroup to develop recommended county amounts of the new IHSS MOE, working closely with the Administration on the programmatic and fiscal guidance to counties, and hosting an all-day training for nearly 200 county staff to provide training on the fiscal and collective bargaining provisions.
On IHSS collective bargaining, counties have made significant progress on reaching new memorandums of understanding (MOUs) to increase wages for IHSS providers. There are new agreements or tentative agreements in 14 counties in the first eight months since the new MOE was enacted on July 1, 2019. Counties throughout the state have reached new agreements including urban, suburban, and rural counties; inland and coastal counties; and Northern, Southern, and Central California counties. Thus far, counties are investing an estimated $41.3 million for wage and benefit increases that are going into effect this year.
The 2019-20 IHSS trailer bill also created a one-time 1991 Realignment withholding related to IHSS collective bargaining that could potentially apply to counties without a collective bargaining agreement in place. This withholding would only apply to a county if all four of a set of conditions are met and would be equal to one percent of the county MOE amount. The United Domestic Workers of America (UDW) has proposed to increase the Realignment withholding amount from one percent to seven percent. CSAC opposes this proposal for numerous reasons including the significant progress that has been made on county IHSS collective bargaining and outlined our opposition in a CSAC IHSS letter.
As with nearly all budget items at this time of year, both subcommittees did not vote on the stakeholder proposals, but are holding items open to vote at a later date. CSAC will continue to highlight our gratitude for the new sustainable IHSS fiscal structure, share the county progress on collective bargaining, and oppose the stakeholder proposals on IHSS collective bargaining.