Workers: We're getting stiffed on minimum wage hike

Posted at 9:10 PM, Aug 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-16 00:10:50-04

SAN DIEGO - Workers across San Diego are earning bigger paychecks now that voters increased the city's minimum wage to $10.50 an hour.

But thousands of workers now say they're getting stiffed. 

Darlene Nelson said she was shocked and appalled when she got her last paycheck. She's still earning $10 an hour at her job in the city, even though voters passed Proposition I in June to raise it to $10.50 an hour.  

"We're all having a hard time living here, making ends meet," said Nelson. "It's hard to live in San Diego making $10 an hour."

Nelson works as a home health aide through In Home Support Services, a government program that helps disabled people stay in their homes. About 70 percent of the aides are assigned to their own family members. Nelson takes care of her two grown daughters at their home in the College Area. 

"They're nonverbal," she said. "Mentally they're between the ages of three and five."

The state sends Nelson a paycheck every two weeks, and state spokesman Michael Weston says she's being paid correctly at $10 an hour. 

"The authority is under the county, and it’s that way in every county in the state of California," he said. 

The minimum wage across San Diego County is $10 an hour, which is the same as the state's. 

San Diego City Councilman Todd Gloria, who authored Proposition I, said in a statement that legislation did not exclude any workers. He said he has heard from hundreds of home health aides and supports them in their efforts. 

Nelson said she and her colleagues will address the City Council later this week to ask for help in getting a raise to the city's new minimum wage. The workers are represented by the United Domestic Workers of America/Local 3930, which says more than 10,000 home health aides in the city have not received the larger paychecks.