Inter-Departmental Correspondence

Health Department



April 20, 2009


May 5, 2009







Honorable Board of Supervisors

Acting as the In-Home Supportive Services Public Authority



Jean S. Fraser, Chief, Health System
Lisa Mancini, Director, Aging and Adult Services



In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Independent Provider Wage Decrease



Adopt a Resolution authorizing the President of the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Public Authority to approve a $2.00 per hour wage decrease, from $11.50 to $9.50 per hour, for IHSS Independent Providers effective July 1, 2009 to meet the State-mandated 60-day notification for wage changes and to reflect the decrease in the State participation in the wage rate, contingent on the outcome of ongoing labor negotiations regarding the wage rate, and submission of the Resolution to the California Department of Social Services (DSS).



Commitment: Ensure basic health and safety for all.

Goal 8: Help vulnerable people—the aged, disabled, mentally ill, at-risk youth and others—achieve a better quality of life.


This wage decrease contributes to this commitment and goal by providing services throughout the County designed to assist individuals with the greatest needs maintain their independence and dignity within the least restrictive setting possible.


Performance Measure:


FY 2007-08

FY 2008-09

Percentage of consumers indicating their quality of living situation has improved as a result of services received through the Public Authority





In September 1993. by ordinance of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, a Public Authority was established to administer the provider components of the IHSS program. The enabling ordinance designated the Board of Supervisors as the Governing Board of the Public Authority.


The County of San Mateo has always matched the IHSS wage at the rate the State participates. The current MOU states that the wage for IHSS workers shall be $11.50, contingent on State participation at that rate. As part of the budget deal, the State decreased its participation in the IHSS wage rate from $11.50 to $9.50. The current MOU with Service Employees International Union, Local 521 (SEIU) for IHSS Independent Provider services expires on June 30, 2009. Although we are in the middle of negotiations, the State has refused to shorten the 60-day notification requirement for notification of IHSS wage changes. Accordingly, the County must take this action to protect its financial interests while negotiations with SEIU continue.



Despite repeated requests from counties to shorten the deadline for notification of wage changes while counties negotiate with labor regarding the decrease in the State’s participation in the IHSS wage rate, the State has refused to shorten the deadline. Thus, San Mateo County finds itself between a rock and a hard place: we are committed to ongoing labor negotiations regarding compensation to IHSS workers, yet we must act now due to the intransigence of the State.

We recommend taking action now only because we are forced to do so; if we fail to act, the State may require the County to keep the current $11.50 wage rate. If that occurs, the County would be forced to compensate for the State’s decrease, at an estimated annual cost of over $3 million. Given the County’s structural deficit, we cannot recommend this action.

We continue to negotiate in good faith with SEIU; we have been waiting for over a month for a response from them to our offer. Any agreement that changes the wage rate will be communicated to the State and put into place as quickly as possible.



The decrease of $2.00 per hour plus approximately $.21 per hour in payroll taxes will save the County an estimated $969,710 from current year costs. If we miss this deadline, the County will have to pay the State’s share of the $11.50 wage which would be an additional $287,494 per month or approximately $3,449,925 annually.