County of Marin - News Releases - Living Wage Ordinance

For Immediate Release
November 04, 2014

Supervisors Support ‘Living Wage’ Increase

If approved November 25, in-home care workers get cost-of-living boost

San Rafael, CA - Workers who provide in-home supportive services to seniors and people with disabilities in Marin County are in line to receive a cost-of-living pay raise effective early in 2015 with the unanimous support of a living wage ordinance amendment by the Marin County Board of Supervisors.

Since January 2014, the wage rate has been $10.50 per hour with health benefits and $12.10 per hour without benefits for employees who receive contracts or subsidies from the County of Marin. The Supervisors voted November 4 to approve the first reading of an ordinance amendment and schedule a merit hearing for November 25. If approved then, the new wage will be $11.40 per hour with benefits or $13 per hour without benefits starting in the new calendar year.

The change will affect about 1,500 in-home health care workers in Marin plus about 180 other County employees serving as library aides, library technology aides, performance attendants, seasonal firefighters and service workers. Aside from in-home care workers and county employees, also affected are employees of contractors and subcontractors who have more than $25,000 of annual business with the County.

The change’s total fiscal impact to the County of Marin government would be about $1.1 million annually. The Board provided direction to increase the living wage to $13 per hour, higher than what would have been expected based on the change to Consumer Price Index, with the goal of providing a more sustainable wage for workers in Marin. Marin's pay rate for in-home supportive services workers would be the best in California, although Santa Clara County is anticipating a cost-of-living adjustment to result in a $13 per hour rate in February 2015.

The State of California provides a base salary for those receiving the living wage, and the County of Marin and the federal government split the rest. If verified November 25, the increase would mark the first time the County’s portion would exceed the cost-of-living increase.

A living wage typically requires a higher minimum wage for employers that receive contracts or subsidies from the local government. The policy goal is to increase the minimum hourly wage to a level sufficient for workers to meet the basic needs of their families. As a general law county, Marin does not have the legal authority to adjust the minimum wage as does the state or charter cities.

In-Home Supportive Services Public Authority of Marin (IHSS PA), established in 2002 by the Board of Supervisors, serves low-income older adults and people with disabilities who qualify for in-home care to remain independent and safe in their own homes. The authority matches IHSS care recipients with qualified care providers so the recipients can live healthier, more productive lives. IHSS PA works in partnership with the In-Home Supportive Services Program administered by Marin County Health and Human Services


Daniel Eilerman
Assistant County Administrator
County Administrator's Office

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 325
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-7364
Email: Daniel Eilerman
County Administrator website