Rally for caregiver wage increase to $15/hour parades through do - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Rally for caregiver wage increase to $15/hour parades through downtown Yakima

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YAKIMA, WA - A rally march took place on the corner of 1st Street and Yakima Avenue today, supporting the notion to raise the minimum wage for caregivers from the statewide average of $11.75 to a solid $15 an hour. The rally members were wearing purple shirts and carrying homemade signs, encouraging those driving by to honk their support.

The event began at 11 a.m. and the rally walked down Yakima Avenue to City Hall, demonstrating their feelings that the current caregiver wage is not only causing them to be poverty stricken, but also fails to reflect the hard work they do.

"We provide a service that you can't really put a dollar amount on," Yakima Leader and Bargaining Team Member Melissa Ringer shared with us, "but we feel that fifteen dollars an hour starting for all caregivers in Washington state would definitely bring us closer to being out of poverty."

Melissa is part of the bargaining team, which means she has been able to play a role in the negotiating process with the state as they write up a new two-year contract for S.E.I.U. 775, which represents long-term caregivers.

She feels the process is going well so far and that their voices are, indeed, being heard.

If desired wage is agreed upon, the new contract will be implemented sometime next year.