CBS47 Investigates the cost, as SEIU union leaders demand more money for caregivers

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Contract negotiations continue between the Service Employees International Union and Fresno County supervisors, on how much more caregivers of the elderly and disabled should be paid.

Union workers claim the county’s proposed 10 cent raise increase is a slap in the face, but county leaders say it’s already subsidizing millions.

In the 2018-2019 budget year, in home supportive services is expected to cost $334-million, according to number provided to CBS47 by Fresno County.

The county states $292-million is what it receives from the state and federal governments.

So Fresno County must come up with the rest, roughly $42-million or about 13 percent.

Fresno County Board of Supervisors, Chairman Nathan Magsig says the IHSS program has grown exponentially in the last 5 years.

Magsig says, “Really what we are seeing happen is more and more people who need care from outside providers and the IHSS workers do just that. Today we have grown to 17,000 IHSS workers in Fresno County alone.”

Right now, county leader say workers are being paid the state minimum $12-dollars an hour.

Magsig says yes, other counties through out the state have been able to subsidize more money to these workers,

But he says Fresno is unique, we have a county with some wealth, but much more poverty.

Magsig says, “There are many disadvantaged communities right here in our county. There are so many needs and not enough resources and we have to balance the greater needs we have here in Fresno County.”

County supervisors say what the state and federal government could do, is provide more money to keep up with the increased demand.

But county leaders say they will continue to try to hammer out a deal.

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