Hami Kitsuda was stuck between a rock and a hard place.
She was 22, had just given birth to her first child, and though she had a background in political science and experience teaching, she did not make enough money to afford the soaring costs of child care. How could she continue her career and reach her goals while balancing the needs of her family? How could she possibly afford to send her child to daycare while she worked?
For a few years, Hami balanced being a stay-at-home parent while taking her kids to part-time child care so they would meet and interact with other kids, but she knew there had to be another way.
That’s when Hami had an idea that changed the trajectory of her life.
Fifteen years later, she has three children and a thriving family child care business. The business not only allows her to provide her own children and the children in her care with quality education, love, and a safe place to develop foundational skills—it also means she can support her community and her family while advancing her career and reaching her goals.
Over the years, she has researched extensively to find resources that help her best prepare the kids in her care for a bright and successful future. She is a state-rated provider and is active in various programs that help track her kids’ benchmarks. For Hami, it’s not just about the best care possible but setting the foundation for her children’s bright futures.
“My favorite part about being a child care provider is that I am helping shape who they are and making them strong and self-sufficient,” says Hami.
Hami loves seeing her kids make progress every day, from something as simple as correctly placing the nose on the Potato Head to learning how to tie their shoes, write their names, and identify their colors, shapes, and letters. Long-term these are the tools and skills that will help the children in kindergarten and beyond.
Every day is an opportunity to help the kids grow—and growing also means playing, running, climbing, and sometimes breaking things or overusing them—all of which impact the wear and tear of any child care. That’s why Hami was ecstatic when she heard about Child Care Providers United’s (CCPU-UDW) win for supplemental pay earlier this year.
She was looking forward to receiving some extra funds to replace some of the supplies in her child care, so she attended CCPU-UDW trainings to learn about the qualifications and paperwork needed and applied immediately. Regardless of the resources and knowledge of her rights as a child care provider, she was instantly met with obstacles.
Hami turned in all the required paperwork three times and kept being rejected. She tried calling time after time to get things sorted and even turned in additional proof of the care hours she had provided, but all to no avail. It wasn’t until she reached out to CCPU-UDW that she saw progress!
Only two days after reaching out to our union, she received a notification saying she officially qualified to receive the small license supplemental pay—a total of $8,000!
These funds will allow Hami to replace supplies that are key to the kids’ success. It means more books, educational toys, and simply more resources to help the kids thrive. In addition to the supplemental pay, Hami is also awaiting Child Care and Development Infrastructure Grant Program funds—another resource CCPU-UDW helped members access—that will allow her to expand the paved area in her backyard and add shade so that the children can ride their bikes and play freely.
Hami is looking forward to continuing to grow and learn herself. She is hoping to return to school to pursue a bachelor’s in child development and expand on the knowledge she’s gathered after so many years in the field.
“I keep learning because if you want to teach children, you have to educate yourself and keep learning. As I’m teaching them, they are teaching me,” Hami says.
Supplemental Pay is one of many victories CCPU-UDW has secured over the recent years—but it’s all because of the power behind each one of our fierce members. Members like Hami who act when called to make our victories possible! We have much more to win to improve our rights, protections, and benefits as child care providers, and we challenge you to TAKE ACTION!
Salvador Lopez Segura of Kern County is an IHSS provider for his sons, David and Cesar, who live with rheumatoid arthritis, while also caring for his wife, who is on dialysis. Initially, Salvador retired from his job to support his wife through her treatments, while his eldest son, Cesar, was David’s IHSS provider. But last year, everything changed after Cesar suffered a sudden fall that left him unable to walk.
Salvador stepped up to care for both of his sons while continuing to drive his wife to and from dialysis three times a week. It wasn’t easy, but he pushed through and hoped that Cesar’s symptoms would improve. It took months before the doctors officially diagnosed Cesar with the same illness as David.
Through months of uncertainty, Salvador was paid only for the hours he cared for his youngest son, and with the stress of being the only source of income and primary caregiver to his entire family mounting, Salvador needed help. So he reached out to UDW and successfully submitted an appeal to ask for more hours of care for David. That appeals process earned Salvador an additional 75 paid hours per month and retroactive pay of over $1,000 for the previous months.
It was a huge relief, but there was still work to do: Salvador tried to apply for IHSS hours for his oldest son Cesar but was denied due to an error in the paperwork from his son’s doctors. That’s when UDW stepped in, again. Salvador was more confident this time around because he knew his union had his back, and in May he received incredible news: all those long hours of making phone calls and tracking down the right paperwork resulted in 136 hours per month for Cesar’s care and over $15,000 in back pay!
“It’s been such a big help,” Salvador said. “I can breathe a little bit better.” He and his family were able to pay off a large portion of the debts that had accumulated while he cared for Cesar unpaid, and life is a bit calmer now.
Salvador’s sister-in-law comes in to help his wife with some light cleaning and other home tasks. His wife has transportation to and from her dialysis treatments through her local resources—giving Salvador some breathing room. The family also has some help from qualified nurses who help tend to his sons’ more serious medical needs. It’s been a journey with many obstacles and curve balls, but the Lopez Segura family now has a semblance of normalcy.
Every two years, we join thousands of AFSCME delegates from across the nation to discuss issues of vital importance to our communities, our workplaces, and our union. Through open discussion of the issues that matter to public service workers and working families, delegates set our union’s priorities for the future, renew shared commitments, and strategize to make us stronger.
UDW is the third largest union within AFSCME, our national union which represents over a million workers ranging from nurses and behavioral health employees to sanitation workers, librarians, home care workers, child care providers, and more. UDW is the largest union affiliate in the west, with a majority of our members being women and people of color, making us and our voices even more imperative as we represent such a diverse workforce.
“Today, we have the power to build safer, more beautifully diverse communities,” IHSS provider David Haskins of San Diego reminded AFSCME members when he took to the podium.
We made history at this year’s convention by officially welcoming our family child care providers members of CCPU-UDW to our international family in-person. We recognized our tremendous fight of over 20 years to unionize and create a statewide family child care union in California, and CCPU-UDW member Charlotte Neal of Sacramento proudly represented our 40,000 family child care members on stage.
We also raised our voices to support eleven of the 41 resolutions presented during the convention. Some of the resolutions UDW delegates supported included reaffirming the value of child care providers; growing and connecting union child care; increasing access to strategic workforce development; fighting to win Unemployment, Medicare, and Social Security for parent and spouse IHSS providers, and more.
District 7 Chair Isabel Serrano asked AFSCME members to support a resolution calling for the expansion of access to home and community-based services in our community.
“Longstanding racism and sexism against [domestic workers] have resulted in structural inequality, leaving many of us living at or below the poverty line,” Isabel said. “Yet, we save lives and make our communities healthier and stronger—our wages should reflect the value and importance of our work.”
Our members not only took their stand for improved social services, benefits, and pay, but also for the rights of our oppressed siblings. UDW delegates proudly stood in support of reproductive rights for all those who can bear children, as well as for the rights of our fellow trans and non-binary siblings who are also facing injustices that attempt to invalidate and suppress their identities, rights, and dreams.
“This is not the first time our systems have failed us—when I say us, I particularly mean women, trans and non-binary people, and people of color—because these are the people who are at risk of losing our lives if we don’t stand up and fight back for our reproductive rights!” Assistant Executive Director, Johanna Hester, told the crowd. “As a union we must protect workers’ rights to health care – and that means access to ALL reproductive health care services.”
We also participated in workshops and panels, and connected with AFSCME members from all over the country. We exchanged pins and stories about how we successfully organized to win better wages and benefits in our workplaces and inspired each other to continue to take action in our communities. At the end of the week, we joined our AFSCME family on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art to demand a better contract with fairer wages, benefits and resources for museum workers. The sea of green t-shirts could be seen from blocks away and our voices made news across the city.
Orange County IHSS provider Hai Nguyen said it best. “I love the concept of #AllTogether, because sometimes in life we feel alone and seeing so many people from different backgrounds and jobs come together to be there for each other is beautiful.”
The days were long and jampacked, but we were so happy to come together to proudly represent the interests of home care and family child care providers.
Rosa Beltran, District 3 Vice Chair, was most excited about bringing home the knowledge she gained from convention back to her fellow providers in Riverside County:
“It’s been a long time and we needed this to feel the love within our union,” she said. “I’ve learned so much and I’m taking it all back with me to share with my district and educate our younger generation on the importance of unions so that we can grow AFSCME and empower our communities.”
Kern County Board of Supervisors will not include competing term limits ballot initiatives on the November ballot
Bakersfield, CA – Dozens of Kern County residents including caregivers, county workers, and City of Bakersfield workers attended Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting to decry plans to place alternative, competing term limits ballot measures on the November ballot. Public comment–and the general popularity of term limits across the political spectrum–moved the Kern County Board of Supervisors to take no action on the alternative ballot initiatives they were considering.
In March, We Are Kern County coalition members delivered nearly 22,000 signatures on a ballot measure to enact term limits on County Supervisors. The initiative qualified for the November ballot in June. If it passes, supervisors will be limited to two terms of four years each.
In a move that members of the coalition called anti-democratic, the Board of Supervisors requested that county counsel provide them a list of alternative actions for placing competing measures on the ballot, including a version of the ballot measure that would allow supervisors to run for their positions again after a hiatus.
“It’s clear to the voters I’ve talked to that the County Board of Supervisors offering competing ballot measures would only confuse the public,” said term limits proponent Sandy Moreno. “We already know that term limits are incredibly popular, and over 20,000 voters agree that Kern needs this change.”
As a result of Tuesday’s meeting, only the people’s term limits ballot initiative will be up for a vote in November.
“This is a tremendous victory for democracy in Kern County,” Moreno added.
WeAreKernCounty is a coalition of community organizations, activists, and leaders who are deeply concerned with the future of our county.
United Domestic Workers of America (UDW/AFSCME 3930), a union representing 155,000 home care and family child care workers throughout California, announced today that the budget agreement reached by the governor and legislature includes a major new benefit for working Californians that was achieved through the work of a broad coalition of unions. The Workers Tax Fairness Credit would establish a refundable tax credit for a portion of union dues, allowing workers in low-wage industries who do not itemize or owe taxes to receive the benefits of the tax credit. The credit will be established in statute through a trailer bill in August and activated in a future budget.
“Tax deductions have generally favored higher income professionals like doctors and lawyers, whose association fees are recognized as a cost of doing business and therefore easily written-off on their taxes. It unfairly privileges high earners over working-class Californians,” said Doug Moore, UDW Executive Director. “UDW fought for the Workers Tax Fairness Credit to level the playing field, because union members deserve these benefits, too.”
UDW and other worker advocates have long sought to bring equity to working-class Californians, and the past few years have made the need for policy like the Workers Tax Fairness Credit even more urgent. Many California union members served as the frontline, essential workers who kept our state running during the pandemic. From home care workers caring for California’s seniors and people with disabilities to custodians keeping schools clean, to transit workers keeping buses and trains moving to get other workers to work, this pandemic has demanded tremendous sacrifice by working people.
“For workers like me, a tax credit for our union dues could mean hundreds of dollars back in our pockets at tax time,” said UDW president and home care provider, Editha Adams. “Thank you to our elected leaders for championing this initiative. This tax credit will make a huge difference for us, especially with gas prices and the cost of living in California increasing so drastically.”
Unions provide significant public benefits, including expanded access to healthcare and retirement, a narrowing of race and gender wage disparities and racial wealth gaps, and a path out of poverty through job security. Yet workers who belong to unions are unable to enjoy the tax benefits available to the wealthy and well-connected. The Trump Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 suspended the tax deduction for union dues at the federal level, though employers can still deduct management and legal expenses, and professionals can deduct association dues such as those for the State Bar. While union dues are deductible as an itemized expense on state returns, many workers, including thousands of UDW members, do not earn enough to itemize and therefore cannot deduct them.
The Workers Tax Fairness credit will complement recent tax policies enacted to benefit low-wage workers and families, including the EITC, the child tax credit and the Golden State stimulus and encourage more workers to file taxes.
“Unionized workers play a critical role in the economic and social health of our state,” added Moore. “This victory is a testament not only to the value of these workers, but to what unions can accomplish when we come together to fight for what working Californians deserve.”
Beginning July 1, IHSS providers will be required to use direct deposit or a pay card to automatically receive their paychecks. Not only will this mean you’ll receive your paycheck faster because you will no longer have to wait for your paper warrant to be delivered through the post office, you’ll also never have to worry about it getting lost or stolen or having to run to the bank every pay day.
If you have not already signed up for direct deposit, you can electronically enroll through the direct deposit enrollment service in three easy steps!
Select the Direct Deposit option in the menu located at the top of the screen.
Follow the instructions on the screen.
The online direct deposit service also allows you to electronically change or dis-enroll via the CDSS IHSS ESP website, instead of using a paper form.
Direct deposit does not change the way you submit your timesheet, so even after you enroll, you should continue to submit those as usual. After successfully submitting your enrollment request, it takes approximately 30 days to start receiving direct deposit.
Providers who are not enrolled in direct deposit will continue to receive paper warrants, but beginning in October, they will also receive an email, text, or phone call notification about the need to enroll in direct deposit every time a warrant is issued. New providers will have a 90-day grace period to enroll in direct deposit before they begin to receive the notices.
If you have questions about direct deposit, creating or accessing your ESP account or entering your direct deposit information online, call the IHSS Service Desk, Monday-Friday between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1-866-376-7066 or the UDW Membership Resource Center at 1-800-621-5016, Monday-Friday between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
UDW members in Kern County are celebrating our latest victory in the quest to enact term limits on a Board of Supervisors (BOS) who has done nothing to help IHSS providers or our clients in Kern County.
After years of failed negotiations with the county, UDW members joined the We Are Kern coalition, a diverse and grassroots movement to remove entrenched and failing leadership at the BOS, earlier this year.
On June 7, the county announced that the coalition had gathered 21,951 valid signatures, more than the 20,338 required to place a proposition to enact term limits on the BOS on the November ballot. The term limits petition calls for terms of public service to be limited to two terms, or eight years. Currently, the supervisors can run for an unlimited number of terms.
“We knew people in Kern County were dissatisfied with our do-nothing leaders,” said Sandy Moreno, an IHSS provider and one of the three named proponents on the term limit petition, “but we have been blown away by the overwhelming response to help elect leaders who are ready to work for a future where everyone shares in Kern’s prosperity.”
Sandy became active in the term limits campaign after witnessing first-hand how the Kern BOS would rather pay state penalties than invest in good-paying care jobs. After over five years of stalled negotiations, Kern IHSS providers like Sandy watched in horror as the county chose to accept a penalty of nearly $800,000 rather than budge on a modest wage increase for home care workers.
“Term limits will bring in new local leadership with fresh, bold ideas on how to improve administration of county services, programs, and resources and quality of life in Kern County,” said Sandy. “We are ready to remove these leaders and work toward a Kern County where every family and every community has what they need to stay healthy, safe, and strong.”
And don’t forget to vote for UDW-endorsed BOS candidate Louis Gill, who has pledged to support IHSS providers, our clients, and our communities throughout Kern County.
The United Domestic Workers of America (UDW/AFSCME 3930) issued the following statement supporting the joint legislative budget agreement:
The over 155,000 home care and child care workers represented by UDW applaud Senate pro Tempore Atkins, Speaker Rendon, Assemblymember Ting, Senator Skinner, and their respective caucuses for the joint legislative budget agreement that makes historic investments in underserved communities around the state and prioritizes essential frontline workers – including our home care and child care providers – and their families.
We especially support the Better for Families Rebates plan, the CalEITC increase and the new Worker Tax Fairness Credit. These policies, when taken together, put money directly into the pockets of the Californians who are most impacted by the rising cost of living and help narrow race and gender income disparities. These investments will go toward improving quality of life in some of the most impoverished communities and help generate economic stability.
This proposed budget also brings us one step closer to strengthening our foundation for climate resiliency for IHSS, an important objective in the Master Plan on Aging, by paying IHSS providers who are going above and beyond their call of duty to ensure the health and safety of older adults and individuals with disabilities during natural disasters. It is essential as we address the rapidly growing need for older adult care in the state to recruit and retain a strong workforce, and one of the best ways to do this is not only to increase wages and benefits, but to also ensure workers are best prepared for the future of the program starting with new employee orientations. We also support facilitating participation in the States’ CalSavers retirement program for our workers.
Additionally, we commend the Legislature’s ongoing commitment to investing in child care. This budget agreement allocates funding to stabilize the child care workforce through access to quality, affordable health care and retirement savings, waiving family fees, extending the hold harmless policies, and providing a meaningful increase to reimbursement rates. This will help stabilize providers and ensure access to reliable child care services as the state continues to recover from the pandemic and return to work.
Overall, this budget agreement reflects our progressive values in the state as we look towards building the future of the fifth largest economy in the world to ensure our citizens, especially the most underserved, are a priority in how we structure funding for critical programs. We urge the Governor, who has always shown his leadership and support on child care and IHSS workers, to make these critical investments to provide much-needed support and economic recovery.
Doug Moore, UDW Executive Director
We are excited to announce the official launch of UDW’s very own credit union on May 16 in partnership with Providence Federal Credit Union (PFCU)! Union leaders have been working with PFCU for months to create products and services designed specifically to meet our needs as caregivers and family child care providers. William Reed, UDW Secretary-Treasurer, is ready to share how this benefit can empower fellow providers.
“UDW members need and want a credit union, and together we made it happen,” said William. “Our new credit union partnership is a major new benefit that provides members a whole range of banking with services catered specifically to home care and family child care providers.”
PFCU members can count on everyday benefits like online, mobile, and phone banking services; access to 90,000 surcharge-free ATMs; free checking and savings accounts; low-interest loans specifically designed with UDW members in mind; and free financial wellness classes and counseling to help you achieve a secure financial future. PFCU also offers a second chance checking account for those of us who have struggled with our credit in the past. Our friends at PFCU are flexible and open to adjusting to our needs, especially as IHSS providers have a state-mandated deadline to register for direct deposit by July 1.
Unlike for-profit banks, our credit union is designed to put us first. Before the benefit opens to all members on May 16, William and other union leaders signed up early to test the services and customer service. He reported that working with PFCU has been a great experience.
“They’ve been very welcoming, available, and accommodating,” said William. “PFCU has made me feel like they are my bank. In a world where we are pulling away from person-to-person contact, PFCU is still focusing on creating personal connections with our members.”
Desmond Prescott, District 3 Chair, also joined the credit union and has seen the difference that having a not-for-profit organization help you manage your funds can make—not only in your wallet but in your peace of mind.
“PFCU recognizes care workers and the valuable work we do, and creates products specifically with us in mind,” he said. “They value our work and care to protect the money we work so hard for.”
Desmond was amazed by the speedy response he’s had throughout his enrollment process and the variety of services PFCU offers our members, from low-interest loans catering to caregivers, to a financial wellness program personalized to your specific financial goals, and access to low-interest credit. There was one benefit that made the biggest impact on Desmond, so far.
“My favorite PFCU service was the low-interest balance transfer!” He said. “I was able to transfer my balance from a 25% interest credit card to PFCU at only 4% interest. I did the calculations, and this one benefit is saving me thousands of dollars.”
UDW members work hard, and we deserve a members-first financial institution that will work for us and give us the exceptional service, easy access, and quality products that we deserve!
Thank you to the hundreds of UDW members who participated in our renaming contest and congratulations to our winner: Tu Le of Orange County! We are so excited to begin this new chapter with a more inclusive name that better represents all UDW members.
UDW OFFICES ARE OPEN AGAIN!
Please continue to wear masks until further notice. Need PPE? Call ahead to see what’s available (find your local office number at www.udwa.org/contact).
TOOLS FOR FINANCIAL EMPOWERMENT
Learn about important resources for you and your family Across the country, we are seeing higher costs for food, gas, electricity, housing, and all other essentials. For those of us making close to minimum wage, rising costs are digging even deeper holes into our pockets—but your union is here for you! Check out the programs and resources below to see how you can get help during these challenging times.
UDW’S Credit Union Rebuild your credit, enjoy low rates, get free financial counseling, and more.
Learn more below!
CalSavers Financially prepare for retirement by accessing a professionally managed retirement savings program for Californians who have no employer- based retirement plan. Family child care providers who are self-employed and most IHSS providers can opt-in to the program. saver.calsavers.com • 1-855-650-6918
AFSCME Free College Earn a certificate, associate’s, or bachelor’s degree online at no cost to you through the AFSCME Free College Benefit. Visit freecollege.afscme.org to learn more.
Enjoy other cost-saving benefits like a prescription and health care discount card, low-cost dental, medical bill negotiating service, and more at udwa.org/member-benefits.
Save for disability-related expenses by contributing up to $16,000 a year to a CalABLE account without jeopardizing benefits like SSI and Medicaid. CalABLE accounts may be opened by or on behalf of an eligible individual.
Entitled to SSI or SSDI due to a disability or blindness; or
Has a disability certification (a signed diagnosis by a licensed physician)
In all cases, the blindness or disability must have occurred before age 26. www.calable.ca.gov • 833-225-2253 •[email protected] IHSS CAREER PATHWAYS PROGRAM You can expand your skills and earn extra cash, thanks to a new initiative that will give IHSS providers training to enhance skills and career opportunities. Participants will get paid for the time in training and may qualify for additional, one-time incentive payments for completing training in particular areas.
*Coming in Fall 2022. More information available soon. Foodbanks
Three Ways to Find a Food Distribution Site or Foodbank Near You
Reach out to your local UDW office or the Member Benefit Center at 800-621-5016 and ask about any upcoming food distributions event they may be planning.
For immediate assistance, call 2-1-1, open 27/7, to speak with someone about services in your area.
California’s Food Stamp Program Provides up to $250*/month per household member
*Benefit amounts have increased due to the pandemic.Eligibility is based on income. Those with SSI/SSP may also be eligible.
CalFresh Income Guidelines
Effective until September 30, 2022
(Add $758 for each member after 8)
getcalfresh.org | 1-877-847-3663
Dear fellow UDW members,
I am so excited to announce the official launch of UDW’s very own credit union on May 16! We are partnering with Providence Federal Credit Union (PFCU) to create products and services designed specifically to meet our needs as caregivers and family child care providers. Unlike for-profit banks, our credit union is designed to put us first. PFCU members can expect day-to-day benefits like 90,000 surcharge-free ATMs, free checking and savings accounts, second-chance checking accounts for those of us who have struggled with our credit in the past, low-interest loans specifically designed with UDW members in mind, and free financial wellness classes and counseling to help you achieve a secure financial future.
UDW members work hard. We deserve a members-first financial institution that will work for us. To become a member or learn more visit www.providencecu.org/PFCU-UDW or call 1-888-849-5189.
In solidarity, Editha Adams UDW Statewide President
MEMBERS SPRING INTO ACTION
UDW members gathered in Montgomery, Alabama to walk an 11-mile leg of a 50-mile march in honor of the 57th anniversary of the Selma-to- Montgomery march, originally led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and thousands of non-violent demonstrators fighting for voting rights. Read about our journey at: https://bit.ly/UDWSelma.
We did it! Congratulations to UDW members in Santa Barbara and Imperial Counties, who after countless negotiations, rallying at the Board of Supervisors, and speaking out and sharing their stories, finally won new contracts with wage and benefit increases! We’re bargaining in several counties this year and need all the help we can get—reach out to your local office to find out how you can get involved.
Kern County UDW members joined forces with our allies to gather and deliver nearly 30,000 signatures in support of term limits for county elected officials, giving new leaders who support, value, and respect IHSS providers a seat at the table. “This Board of Supervisors has shown us they don’t prioritize good jobs and our economy is suffering because of it,” said UDW member and term limits proponent, Sandy Moreno. “We deserve leadership that reflects all of us and invests in our local economies.”
Our country’s early childhood education system is broken, and family child care providers are taking the lead to fix it. UDW member Miren Algorri (middle right) spoke to over 50 members of the Committee for Education Funding (CEF) in March. “I am asking that the federal government take action and bring forth a comprehensive early childhood education plan that funds child care for all families who need it,” she said.
Members have stepped into the spotlight during UDW’s Facebook Live roundtables to lead candid conversations about race, gender, and labor. In February, members talked about their lives as Black caregivers and family child care providers and how the fight for care worker rights are inextricably linked with the struggle for Black liberation.
In Orange County, family child care provider Virginia Hernandez and IHSS provider Angie Nguyen were recognized during Women’s History Month by local elected leaders and community members for their work caring for others. Angie was named a Woman Making a Difference by Supervisor Katrina Foley while Virginia was recognized as a Woman of Distinction by Senator Tom Umberg. Congratulations!
SUPPLEMENTAL PAY RATIFICATION FOR CCPU
Supplemental pay for family child care providers is finally here!
After months of work, thousands of phone calls to the state demanding they expedite the payment process, and a union vote ratifying the disbursement proposal, family child care providers are finally set to receive supplemental pay!
“I’m so excited for supplemental pay because the $10,000 will allow me to make improvements to my backyard, build my outdoor classroom, and help me continue providing the best care for the children I serve.”
These funds are part of the $144.5 million CCPU-UDW won in negotiations last year. This year, eligible family child care providers with large licenses will receive $10,000; small licenses will receive $8,000; and family, friend and neighbor providers, also known as license-exempt, will receive $1,500. Next year, payments will be disbursed monthly in amounts that will be determined in July 2022.
To be eligible for these funds this fiscal year, licensed child care providers must have had at least one subsidized child in their care for three months between May and October 2021. License-exempt providers must have had at least one subsidized child in their care between August and October 2021.
The state began disbursing the funds in April 2022 and should complete payouts within the next few months. If you believe you qualify to receive supplemental funds but have not received any notification, please contact CCPU- UDW at 888-226-7510 to find out next steps.
As a union of 145,000 home care and family child care providers, the majority of whom are women and people of color, we believe that any attempt to take away rights or deny access to health care is unacceptable.
And make no mistake: reproductive care is health care.
With the announcement that the Supreme Court plans to overturn Roe v. Wade, women, trans people, and non-binary people are under attack. Haven’t women, especially women of color, taken on enough burdens for this country? We will not be silent while our fundamental right to control our own bodies is at stake.
With this ruling, SCOTUS could be paving the way to overturn other long-protected individual freedoms. What’s next? Our voting rights? Marriage equality? We know one thing for sure: now is the time to hold our elected leaders accountable to their promises to protect our rights. Voting is just the first step, and we must make our voices heard every step of the way.
At UDW we believe that health care and privacy are human rights. We will fight any attempt to diminish or deny these rights.
It’s not news that our work as care providers and family child care providers is just as stressful as it is rewarding. We find ourselves often confronting difficult choices and lacking much time for ourselves and our self-care.
We hear it all the time— “You can’t pour from an empty cup. You need to do all these things to take care of yourself.” We hear these things so often that many times we shrug them off, because how can we take care of ourselves when so much responsibility rests on our shoulders?
Caring for others is in our nature and as hard as it may be, we need to learn to prioritize and care for ourselves, as well. Stress can lead to burnout and increased risk of conditions like heart disease, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease, so prioritizing our needs and our health is one way we can prolong our well-being and continue providing quality care. Our time and responsibilities as care providers may limit our self-care options. For us, self-care may not mean spending hours at the gym or in a resort but creating even small pockets of time that allow for us to unwind and destress. Everyone’s schedule and availability are different, and sometimes all we have is five minutes to ourselves. Here are five ways to help you cope with stress in five minutes or less:
Move your body! This can mean a quick walk around the block, a dance-off in your living room, or a quick stretch. Set a timer and get moving!
Go outside Sit, stand, walk, or run, spend your time in nature in whichever way you choose. Getting a few breaths of fresh air, standing in the sun for a few minutes, and changing the scenery can have a profound effect on your stress levels and drastically improve your mood.
Mediate Mediation is not limited to sitting in silence. Many people practice various techniques that help them control their breathing and become more mindful of their body and it’s needs. Here are four ways you can dive into meditation:
Box Breathing Find a quiet place. Close your eyes. Start to slow down your breath. Picture a box and think of each side as a motion of your breath. Follow the following:
Inhale on a slow count of 4 Hold your breath at the top for 4 Exhale through the nose for 4 Hold empty at the bottom for 4
Journal Set a five-minute timer at the beginning of your day or right before bed and write whatever comes to mind! Whether it’s about your day, how you feel, or your dreams, journaling can help reduce stress, boost your mood, evoke mindfulness, and help you strengthen emotional health.
Listen to a soothing song Choose a soothing song, close your eyes, tune into the melody. Pay close attention to the instruments, words, harmonies, and lose yourself in the song. Take this time to relax your muscles, from your jaw to your ankles. Music is a great way to help quiet your mind and release pent-up tension in your body.
5-4-3-2-1 method Use this method to help you practice mindfulness. Slow your breathing and identify the following for each of your senses:
5 things you see
4 things you can touch around you
3 things you can hear
2 things you can smell
1 thing you can taste
Hang out with a furry friend Take a quick break and snuggle up next to your best fur-iend (furry friend). Pets, especially dogs and cats, can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise and playfulness, and even improve your cardiovascular health. Don’t have a pet of your own? That’s okay! Take a few minutes to sit outside and look for your neighborhood birds. Listen to them sing and flutter through the trees.
Get a good laugh Take a quick break and look up a few cute or funny videos online. It can be a quick compilation of America’s Funniest HomeVideos, or cats playing the keys—whatever lights up your day and brings a smile to your face. Laughter, even smiling, has been proven to help reduce stress.
Whichever way you choose to take a moment to yourself is a great start! District 4 Vice Chair, Florence “Corie” Crowson, said it best, “You may be a hero, but even heroes can ask for help and support.”
Karen Clark started babysitting at just eight years old in her hometown of Lompoc. Those early experiences sparked a love of caring for children that set Karen on a path across the globe to guide generations of children into adulthood with her special blend of love, creativity, and immersion in the natural world.
As a teenager, Karen continued her babysitting work while also working at a local horse farm. But as busy as she was in high school, she also found time to fall in love—Karen and her husband Bobby were high school sweethearts who married right after high school. The young couple left California when Bobby enlisted in the Air Force.
To keep connected to the profession she loved, Karen had to overcome logistical challenges. Because there were no child care facilities near where they were stationed in Germany, she drove across the border to work at a child care in Holland for over a year. One day, a neighbor gave her the idea to open a child care in her home for the families living on the base. She’d never had her own business before, much less in another country, but over her three years working from the base, she launched a successful business model that fit the needs of children and their families—as well as Karen’s need to pursue work she loved.
“I couldn’t see myself in an office filing all day,” Karen says, “I like going outside and playing in the parachute! I really can’t see myself doing anything else. It’s enjoyable, sometimes scary, but it’s all worth it.”
After four years abroad, they moved back to the United States. They lived for a few years in Mississippi and eventually found their way back to California, adopting four children along the way. Like many family child care providers, Karen learned that opening up her home to other children was the best way to work while also caring for her own kids.
Now settled on a large plot of land in their hometown of Lompoc, Karen—with help and support from Bobby—has been able to take her creative approach to teaching children to a whole new level. The kids have seen caterpillars turn into butterflies, raised chicks, guinea pigs, and rabbits, planted and harvested fruits and veggies, and even helped tend to Karen’s horses. Every day is a new adventure, and Karen enjoys every moment.
Twenty years after returning to Lompoc, Karen continues to serve the families in her community, cherishing every child she’s entrusted with as an extension of her own family. She takes great pride in creating lesson plans that fit each age group, making accommodations for any child that may need alternative forms of learning, and dedicating extra time to those who need it. They spend their days together, learning and growing.
“It’s all about love,” Karen says. “You give it, and you get it back. I love the interaction; I love watching the kids in my care grow up, and I love seeing the awe in their eyes when they see something they’ve never seen before.”
The Life-Changing Power of Getting Involved in Your Union
It’s a well-known fact that having a union can help you earn better pay and benefits. But getting active in your union can help you in other ways, too. Through our union, members learn how to make important changes in our communities—and how to use that training to help ourselves in other areas of our lives.
Becoming an active union member can help you:
Connect with your peers—Our union is made up of over 148,000 home care and family child care providers.No one understands the unique challenges and rewards of our work like others who share the same profession. When you become active in your union, you build a network who will support you when you need it.
Miren Algorri, Family Child Care Provider, San Diego
Being so active in the union has helped me stay strong and stay focused. At times things get too hard to go on, but then you have your sisters and brothers that are the for you and they become a shoulder to cry on. They listen and offer guidance. They take matters into their own hands and give you the tools to keep on going. If we’re together, we are invincible.
Get involved in social justice—Our union supports and conducts trainings all over the state to help members learn the history behind the challenges we face. Together through our Civil and Human Rights councils, we educate each other and take action to build a better and more equitable world.
Desmond Prescott, IHSS Provider, Riverside
The racial and civil rights councils have helped me to speak with a little bit more conviction and brought about a lot of clarity as to why the condition of homeware providers is what it is today…Once you start to see the systematic oppression and systematic ways in which providers were cut out of the legislation process, it gives you a larger understanding and ideas to what you can do daily to create change.
Build your communication skills—UDW passes laws and wins important changes to public policies by connecting our members to elected leaders and other decision makers. You can learn how to share your story and become a better public speaker—all while helping your fellow union members.
Josefina Ochoa, IHSS Provider, Merced County
“Being active within the union has made me stronger and has educated me very well in how to best approach local political leaders to better advocate for myself and for my community. It’s also helped me get involved with other groups in the community that are in similar situations and fighting for rights to protect the health of our clients.”
Step into your leadership—All the elected leaders of UDW are members just like you who realized becoming a leader is sometimes as simple as stepping up and speaking out. UDW members who have become leaders travel to meetings and conferences around the country to share our stories and build relationships with other workers and activists. Some of our members even run—and win—elections for public office!
William Reed, PhD, Secretary Treasurer UDW, IHSS provider, Placer County
“Being an active part of the union has given me the forum to speak to others about the difficulties I faced as a provider, as well as a parent of a disabled son. It has also helped me reach out to a wider audience as a leader, connected me to other organizations and has broadened my knowledge not only about the IHSS program, but in about how laws are passed and how organizations interact to create change. Ultimately, it’s helped me see how I can make a significant difference through my actions.”
There are several ways you can get involved, whether it’s through our many councils, volunteering at events, becoming a graduate of our Leadership Academy, or by sharing your story with others. So, what are you waiting for?! We are taking on big challenges in 2022 and there are many opportunities for you to learn, lead and grow. Visit www.udwa.org/get-involved and sign up to learn more.
CCPU-UDW members rally for health care
After months of bargaining with the state to improve provider access to quality, affordable health care benefits, child care providers are increasingly frustrated that the state has failed to make any progress to address providers’ access to affordable health care.
So, on December 7, members of CCPU-UDW joined family child care providers from across the state in a candlelight vigil for our fellow providers who lost their lives due to inadequate health coverage, demanding that the state take immediate action to protect these essential workers.
In a recent survey, 20% of CCPU members reported that they don’t have health insurance of any kind and 50% said they had to skip appointments or treatments because their healthcare premiums were too high. The survey also exposed the dire consequences for child care providers with no health coverage: One provider broke a bone while caring for young people, and couldn’t afford the cost of a cast; as a result, her bone healed improperly. Another provider reported having to pick up a second job on the weekend just to afford a pair of eyeglasses. Many providers report putting off lifesaving preventative care such as mammograms and pap tests because of the cost.
“California is sitting on a $31 billion surplus, yet they are telling us they can’t afford to take action on our health care,” said Charlotte Neal, a family child care provider in Sacramento. “But with what we are hearing from providers, they should be asking: How can we afford NOT to do something?”
Heroes Pay for IHSS Providers
Dear fellow providers,
Over the last year, UDW members came closer together, built a better and stronger union, and raised our voices to make historic advances for all IHSS and family child care providers. Regardless of the hurdles we met throughout 2021, UDW members continued to amaze me with your leadership and passion!
Our work, including the restoration of hours to IHSS providers and a historic contract ratification with the state of California for family child care providers, has encouraged legislators to recognize just how valuable our work is to the community—not just with words, but through actions.
UDW fought hard for the recognition of our members, and last September, when the current administration increased funding for the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), we made sure that it included provisions to give IHSS providers what we’re calling Heroes Pay: a one-time payment of $500 to any IHSS provider who worked a minimum of two months between March 2020 and March 2021, to be distributed in early 2022. The state already began disbursing the funds, which they are calling “Care Economy Payments,” as of Jan. 3, 2022, and should complete payouts by Jan. 28, 2022.
IHSS caregivers provide invaluable care to vulnerable and at-risk Californians daily and this one-time payment is the least that the state can do to support our efforts through this pandemic. This shows just how far we have come and that our voices are being heard and making an impact. Of course, we have a long way to go before reaching an equitable and sustainable future for all care providers, so we must keep looking forward and fighting for what we deserve!
Thank you for your tremendous work in leading us one step further on this journey to a future that respects and recognizes all UDW members as essential, front-line workers.
Editha Adams IHSS provider and UDW Statewide President
Help us rename The Caregiver and win $100!
Now that our union includes caregivers and family child care providers, we’re changing the name of our newsletter to be more inclusive—but we need to hear from you! All UDW members are welcome to submit name ideas, and every member who submits will be entered to win a gift card for $100. All entries must be received by March 1, 2022. Visit www.udwa.org/caregiver-contest to enter today!
Magdalena Castillo cares for her 38-year-old daughter, Leticia, through the IHSS program. Leticia is the oldest of three siblings and lives with Seckel syndrome, a rare genetic condition that slows growth before and after birth, causing dwarfism, intellectual disability and, in her case, limited mobility. As a result, Leticia requires round-the-clock care.
Originally, Magdalena and her children lived in San Jose, where she worked as a clerk for the county. Magdalena’s three children attended a local daycare with help from subsidy programs. When they moved to Los Baños, Leticia attended a day program while her mother worked, and her brothers were in school. But when Leticia could no longer attend the day program, Magdalena knew something had to change.
Then, 17 years ago, she heard about IHSS.
At first it seemed too good to be true, but once she learned more, she decided to give it a try. Leticia deserved an active and engaged life, and Magdalena knew she could provide her with those opportunities—and now she could do just that, while still supporting her family.
Magdalena joined the union right away because she knew it was invaluable to have a strong union supporting her and her fellow workers.
Low IHSS wages certainly made it difficult for her as a single mother of three, but she made it work. Her boys eventually grew up and joined the military, leaving Magdalena and Leticia alone in their home and making things a little easier financially.. Although living on a fixed income is challenging, Magdalena is grateful for the IHSS program.
“I have the luxury of being with my daughter,” she said. “She’s getting older and there are so many more health issues that are coming about, but I’m so glad I’m able to take care of all her needs and advocate for her medical care.”
Together, Magdalena and Leticia spend hours crafting, gardening, playing with their dogs, and finding bargains at their local stores. More recently, Magdalena and Leticia volunteered at a UDW food distribution event in Merced.
“It was our first-time volunteering together and I was so proud and thankful to be able to share that experience with her,” said Magdalena.
Next, they’re looking forward to fighting for higher wages, sick pay, retirement, and vacation time. They are also excited to meet other UDW members and continue strengthening their bonds with their fellow union siblings:
“They’re not just my union people, they are there for me to have confidence and be able to talk to for support.”
Co-founder of the United Farm Workers inspired San Diego organizers to start UDW
Every March 31 since 2001, California celebrates Cesar Chavez day. The holiday, which falls on the legendary labor leaders’s birthday, honors the work Chavez did to organize farm workers and promote civil rights for all.
You may know Chavez as the co-founder, along with Dolores Huerta, of the United Farm Workers (UFW) union. But did you know he was also largely responsible for founding UDW? It’s true! And the story of our founding shows how the shared experiences of different groups of workers can help build power.
In the 1960s and 70s, many spouses of farm workers were domestic workers. Chavez saw that the two groups of workers had much in common, including being specifically excluded from the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 due to the racism of Southern politicians. Chavez had long believed that domestic workers, like farm workers, needed to be organized into a union to fight for their rights. But most experienced union organizers were hesitant to try organizing a workforce hidden in people’s homes.
“Cesar and Helen Chavez knew all about domestic workers and they’d been trying since 1962 to get someone to organize a union for domestic workers.” says Ken Seaton-Msemaji, who, along with his late wife, Fahari Jeffers and co-founders Greg Akili and Raquel Beltran, started UDW. “Everybody that he approached respectfully turned him down because they thought it was impossible.”
For years, it seemed like Chavez would never find the right people to create the union that would become UDW. But, if the problem was the pessimism of experienced labor organizers, the solution turned out to be finding organizers who had no experience with labor and were unafraid to charge full steam ahead into a completely new form of union organizing.
That’s where Fahari and Ken came in. In the early 70s, Fahari and Ken were a young couple deeply involved in social justice and civil rights. They were already well-known to Chavez from their work with NIA Cultural Organization and other community-based initiatives.
“One of his people said to him ‘look, remember your domestic worker thing? These people will probably say yes–and they can probably do it,” says Ken of being hand-picked by Chavez to begin the organizing work for our union.
“Everybody thought it was impossible. I knew so little about it. That’s what saved me,” he says.
After forming an organizing committee in 1977, Ken and the others set about doing the work that others were afraid to take on—reaching out to workers like us in the homes we worked in, listening to our concerns, and giving us a voice to advocate for ourselves, our families, and the people we cared for.
“Cesar Chavez convinced me and Fahari and others that the most important thing we could do with our lives was to organize and empower poor people of all colors and women,” Ken said in a 2015 interview, “We committed to him we would spend our lives giving it our best. This is the hardest work that any of us have ever done or could ever do.”
All we have achieved over the years for our union goes back to the work of these fearless organizers. But the work of our founders and that of the thousands of UDW members who have given their time and dedication to build our union may not have happened had it not been for Cesar Chavez’ vision of justice for domestic workers.
When we observe Cesar Chavez Day, we should honor his legacy of labor activism and social justice and remember how he made sure the voices of California farm workers were heard around the world. But we should also celebrate our own union every Cesar Chavez day. By continuing to fight for the dignity of our work we are living the dream Cesar had for us.
“Our experience in Montgomery was a clear reminder that we have come so far in our fight for our rights, but we have so much further to go,” said UDW Secretary-Treasurer, William Reed.
On March 10, UDW members gathered in Montgomery, Alabama to walk an 11-mile leg of a 50-milemarch in honor of the 57th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery march, originally led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and thousands of non-violent demonstrators fighting for voting rights.
But first, we had a lot to learn.
To kick-off our trip, we trekked through rain and cold winds to visit some of Montgomery’s most historic sites and pay our respects to the incredible leadership and sacrifice that occurred throughout the city during the Civil Rights Movement. During our time in Montgomery, we took the time to make connections across centuries and learn not only about this country’s history, but about the roots of domestic labor, its ties to slavery and people of color, and why it continues to be undervalued today.
On our first day in the city, we participated in a walking tour that highlighted the history of the transatlantic slave trade, its transition into domestic slave trade, and Alabama’s role in its growth. We visited the Riverfront which was largely responsible for the growth of the domestic slave trade because of the newer means of transportation available, such as steamboats and the nearby railroad. We also walked down Commerce Street and visited locations that served as slave depots and the auction blocks where hundreds of thousands of enslaved people were sold along with land and livestock.
“I felt profound sadness to know how Black people were oppressed and that white people took joy out of doing such horrible things,” said District 7 Vice Chair Maria Isabel Serrano. “It hurt to see generations upon generations of pain, because I know that hearts don’t ever fully heal from such things.”
We began the civil rights portion of our tour at the bus stop where Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white man, sparking the 1956 Montgomery Bus Boycott, a major catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement. As we stood at the Rosa Parks statue, we learned that Black domestic workers made up the bulk of bus riders and were essentially the backbone of the boycott. Without the support, defiance, and dedication of our fellow domestic workers, the Montgomery Bus Boycott would have failed.
The tour continued through Dexter Avenue Baptist Church and the parish where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his family lived while he was the church’s pastor. Established in 1877 by freedmen and free people of color, the church served as a meeting place for civil rights organizers while planning the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
We concluded our historical walking tour at the Civil Rights Memorial, a memorial to 41 individuals who were killed by white supremacists between 1955-1968. At the center of the memorial stood a flattop fountain with the names, dates of death and manner of death engraved on it. We stood over the circular fountain and read every name, date, and manner of death, and reflected on the unnecessary violence Black folks endured while fighting for their humanity.
The next day, we visited three museums: the Legacy Museum, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, and the Freedom Riders Museum.
The Legacy Museum provided a comprehensive history of our country from the transatlantic slave trade to the emergence of over-incarceration in the 20th century. Founded by Bryan Stevenson, the museum was built with the intention to help people understand the pain, the suffering, and the truth behind our country’s history: We interacted with holographic projections of enslaved children, saw jars filled with dirt from hundreds of locations where lynchings took place across the U.S., and listened to recorded interviews with Black people unjustly put behind bars.
We then headed to a memorial to the more than 4,400 Black people who were lynched in America between 1877 and 1950, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. While there, we read the stories behind some of the lynchings, including one of a domestic worker named Eliza Woods who was falsely accused of poisoning her employer’s wife. Although her employer later confessed to killing his wife, Eliza was dragged from her cell by local townspeople and lynched. The museum also paid tribute to the Black domestic workers who made the Montgomery Bus Boycott possible, with three statues in their honor.
The last museum we visited was the Freedom Riders, which recounted the stories of more than 400 riders, both Black and white, who risked their lives to travel to the deep South and violate Jim Crow laws in order to challenge a segregated interstate travel system. At the museum we saw various editions of “The Green Book,” a travel guide that enabled Black travelers to find lodgings, businesses, restaurants, and stores that would serve them, and read various stories detailing the rider’s journeys and the extreme violence they faced.
The two days of educational and historical background fired us up for one of the trip’s highlights—commemorating the 57th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery March. We led the fourth leg of the march in support of voting rights alongside various unions, including the AFL-CIO and AFSCME, and hundreds of supporters from around the country. The march was a total of 50 miles through a span of 5 days from Selma to the steps of Alabama’s State Capitol in Montgomery. Each leg of the march was led by community organizations, including the National Action Network, Black Voters Matter, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Women’s Roundtable.
A few of us, including UDW Vice President Astrid Zuniga, completed all 11 miles of the march that day.
“I wanted to march as much as I could because it was my way of honoring the lives and the struggles of the original foot soldiers, even though I know that this is only a sliver of what they experienced in the 60s,” Astrid said. “The blisters and tiredness are only a small portion of the pain and hardships civil rights leaders and people of color experienced during that time.”
The march concluded on Friday, March 18, as we walked the last steps alongside our fellow unions and marchers and gathered on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery for a special rally. The speakers, including UDW Executive Director Doug Moore, spoke out against voter suppression and the road that awaits us in our fights for civil rights and equity for all.
“The work of ensuring the right to vote is far from over,” said Doug. “We are battling the voices of hate that want to disenfranchise voters of color. Our people were harassed and beaten for fighting for the right to vote and they are not about to take it away from us now. When we vote, we vote for equity. We vote for justice. We vote for the people—all people.”
The days we spent together in Montgomery were heavy with grief and reflection.
“Our experience in Montgomery was a clear reminder that we have come so far in our fight for our rights, but we have so much further to go,” said UDW Secretary-Treasurer William Reed. “The pain that comes from remembering what it was like to see my own family members lynched or being rejected from eating at certain establishments still remains, but it’s really nice to see that the torch for change is being carried on.”
Through our time in Alabama, we were reminded that our work as care providers is the backbone of this country’s economy and that we have the power to create change. Our voices are louder, stronger, and more impactful when we come together and speak up for our rights. We are important; our work is invaluable; and the roots of our power and passion for change are deep, strong, and still expanding. Our foundation is strong and so is our will for change.
With help from her union, CCPU-UDW member Susana Perez won retroactive pay and stability for her small business
Susana Perez loves what she does. As a family child care provider, she enjoys helping the young children in her care grow and prepare for pre-school, and she loves that by supporting local families, her work also uplifts her community. But after nearly 15 years, the job hasn’t been without its struggles.
She found her passion for caring for young children while working as a pediatrician’s assistant. When her family moved from Carson to Beaumont in search of an affordable home of their own, Susana left the clinic and began caring for her neighbor’s children while continuing to care for her own. The need for care in her community grew, and soon enough she decided to open her own family child care business.
The business was doing so well, in fact, that two years ago Susana’s husband retired early to help her with the daycare, making it the only source of the Perez’s income.
“When COVID-19 struck, I became one of the sole supports for local families in an unprecedented pandemic,” Susana said. “I was not only caring for their children but acting as a resource to families who had nowhere else to turn.”
Susana kept her doors open and helped the children in her care adapt to virtual learning. When they went back to in-person learning, she added school pick-up and homework help to her program. Times were tough, but Susana had her union and her fellow child care providers to lean on: CCPU-UDW provided her with constant updates about the pandemic and the PPE she needed to maintain a clean and safe home, while her fellow members offered support and solidarity.
But late last year, just as the Omicron variant began to spike, two of the children in her care moved away and another child, a two-year-old girl, was diagnosed with leukemia. Susana ended up with three unexpected vacancies in her program within the span of a few weeks, a catastrophic hit to her family’s income.
“There were days when I seriously considered closing my doors because it was so tough. So much fluctuated with the families I supported, and I ended up being down to five children in the daycare.”
Thankfully, her union was right behind her. With help from CCPU-UDW staff, Susana learned she could continue to hold a spot for her young client for up to six months and continue to receive pay. The young girl would be able to return to her care once she fully recovered.
But just a month later, the state decided to end the hold for the young girl’s spot in Susana’s daycare without notice, retroactive to the previous month—violating AB 603, a law our union helped pass to protect child care providers from this very situation.
Susana and our union jumped into action: After a few phone calls and emails with photos of the written notice dated well after the 14-day notice should have been sent, the agency agreed to pay Susana retroactive pay for December 2021.
This victory was a clear reminder to Susana about why we fight to win legislation like AB 603 and how child care providers—and all union members—are stronger when we work together. “I’m so grateful to have all this support and knowledge in my corner,” said Susana. “If I didn’t have a union, I wouldn’t have been able to do anything—I wouldn’t have even known what to do.”
“UDW offers our union’s whole-hearted support to the people of Ukraine as they face a violent attack on their country from Russia under the immoral leadership of Vladimir Putin. All people deserve peace and self-determination, and Russia’s move to violently remove Ukraine’s democratically elected government and regain control of the region violates the rights of the Ukrainian people and threatens world security.
We also stand with those in Russia who are risking their own safety and freedom to oppose these attacks and will suffer not only from their own government’s actions but as a result of economic sanctions by countries around the world.
As a union of caregivers who have dedicated our lives to the health and safety of others, our hearts are breaking at the pointless and unforgivable suffering caused by Russia’s aggression and the centuries of imperialism that led to it. We urge our local, state, and national leaders to pursue a path toward peace in Ukraine that respects not only Ukrainian sovereignty, but the rights of all people worldwide to live in just and equitable societies.”
A union is only as strong as its members. Every victory we achieve is made possible by the passion and drive that members like you bring to every rally, march, and phone call. That’s why it’s so important that all our members—IHSS providers and family child care providers alike—get involved: so that we can build power and create transformative change together.
But there is more than one way to get involved. From volunteering at local food drives to participating in contract negotiations and giving testimony before Congress, UDW has opportunities for members interested in participating at all levels.
Not sure where to start? Here’s how:
Opportunities for IHSS and family child care providers:
Volunteer at your local office From setting up and leading local food, diaper, or PPE distributions, to making phone calls to other members—your local office can use your help!
If you are an IHSS provider, call your local office to see how you can get involved in upcoming events. Find your local office here.
If you are a family child care provider, call 888-226-7510 to learn how you can get involved in upcoming events.
Share your story! Your personal experiences are the power behind every UDW victory. Your stories center the importance of caregivers and family child care providers while also helping us bargain for better benefits, better pay, and better lives for providers and our communities.
Join your local bargaining team Our work is vital and worthy of a wage that reflects our value to our communities. By working together, we can win the dignity and respect we deserve and the wage and benefit increases we need. You can join your local bargaining team to make these much-needed changes happen by calling 800-621-5016.
Bargaining team members speak at local Board of Supervisor meetings, meet to discuss proposed wages and benefits, and communicate updates to other local providers to keep them informed.
Join one of your local councils Join your local councils to sharpen your leadership skills, connect with other UDW members, and grow our union’s network and impact.
Health & Welfare Council
Find local resources to help members with rent, utilities, and social services
Develop programs like food banks and diaper distributions to help members and their families
Civil & Human Rights Council
Learn about important social justice initiatives and building equitable communities
Find and partner with social justice organizations that align with UDW’s values
Develop programs to educate UDW members about social justice and making social change
Conduct voter registration drives
Participate in lobby visits and testify before state and local boards or committees
Rally UDW members for local and national elections
Learn how to share your story and speak persuasively
Learn basic graphic design, photography, and other communications skills
PERB penalty underscores growing movement to enact term limits for county BOS
SACRAMENTO — Yesterday, the California Public Employee Relations Board (PERB) issued an administrative decision finding that Kern County is subject to a 7% withholding penalty on 1991 Realignment funds due to the county’s failure to come to a collective bargaining agreement with over 7,500 In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) workers. The finding is the first of its kind under a 2021 law seeking to incentivize counties such as Kern who are worsening California’s long-term care crisis by refusing to recruit and retain enough workers to cover the growing need for care.
IHSS is funded by federal, state, and county sources and administered at the county level. Created out of the disability rights movement in the 1970s, IHSS provides home care to older adults and people with disabilities, allowing them to live in comfort and dignity and avoid unnecessary institutionalization. After over six years of failed negotiations, Kern’s IHSS workers currently earn only minimum wage–without benefits–for performing this critical service. United Domestic Workers of America (UDW/AFSCME 3930), the union representing Kern IHSS workers, filed the complaint that resulted in the PERB ruling.
Though the final penalty is yet to be calculated, it is expected to be in excess of $700,000.
“This is really a case of the Kern County Board of Supervisors failing basic fiscal management. Instead of paying a modest wage increase to workers who would spend the money in the local economy, they are sending money back to the state,” said UDW Executive Director Doug Moore. “Not only are they putting thousands of vulnerable Kern residents—including many veterans and children—in danger of being forced into institutional care or living on the streets, they are also depriving local businesses of much-needed consumer spending. And they are sticking taxpayers with the bill.”
This decision is only the one example of Kern County leaders’ disregard for its residents: Roads and parks are in disrepair, libraries are crumbling, and homelessness is on the rise. To change the downward trajectory of their county, Kern County residents are rising up to demand change at the BOS: Last September, a coalition of community groups filed a petition to put term limits on the 2022 ballot and are well on the way to collecting enough signatures to put the issue before voters this year.
“We need a BOS that works for ALL Kern residents, not just big money oil and gas interests,” said Sandy Moreno, an IHSS provider and one of the proponents of the term limits petition. “Everyday Kern residents like me are getting together to support term limits because we can’t wait any longer for the smart, competent leadership that this county deserves.”
United Domestic Workers of America (UDW/AFSCME Local 3930) is a union made up of over 144,000 home care and child care providers throughout California. UDW home caregivers provide critical services through the state’s In-Home Supportive Services program (IHSS), which allows over half a million California seniors and people with disabilities to remain in their homes with dignity and independence. CCPU-UDW child care members provide quality, affordable, home-based child care for thousands of California’s working families.
Which lawmakers were in solidarity with seniors, people with disabilities, caregivers, and working families in 2021?
During 2021, IHSS caregivers and family child care providers continued to serve heroically as frontline, essential workers during a pandemic. Yet we once again had to defend IHSS from budget cuts and saw thousands of child cares close due to the pandemic. More than ever, we needed champions in state government that saw our value and helped us stay safe and do our work. Every year, UDW scores the California legislature and the governor on their support of policies that impact our members. This year, those scores not only show which of our lawmakers championed care, but which ones defended us, our clients, and our communities when it really mattered.
Find out how your lawmakers scored by clicking on the booklet below.
Thanks to our union’s strong voice at the State Capitol, COVID-19 supplemental paid sick time has been restored for Californians, including IHSS providers, retroactive to January 1, 2022, and up to September 30, 2022. COVID sick pay gives us peace of mind and allows us to focus on staying healthy and not worrying about putting food on the table or covering bills if we do become sick. Members like you made this happen!
Here is what you need to know about how the extension of COVID-19 sick leave impacts you:
Who can apply for COVID-19 paid sick leave?
If you are an IHSS provider, you can apply for the COVID-19 sick leave if one of the following criteria applies to you:
You are subject to a quarantine or isolation period related to COVID-19
You have been advised by a health care provider to quarantine due to COVID-19
You are attending an appointment for yourself or a family member to receive your COVID-19 vaccine/booster or are experiencing vaccination side effects
You are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis
You are caring for an individual who is subject to a quarantine or isolation order or has been advised to self-quarantine by a health care provider
You are caring for a child whose primary place of care is unavailable due to COVID-19
How much COVID-19 paid sick leave can you claim?
Full-time providers (40 hours or more per week) are entitled to 40 hours of paid sick leave and an additional 40 hours if certain requirements are met (see below)
Part-time providers are allowed up to a maximum of 40 hours, calculated as follows:
If you have a set schedule, you may receive the total number of hours you would be scheduled over one week
If your hours are variable, you may receive seven times the average number of hours you worked each day for the six months preceding the date you took COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave. If you have worked over seven days but less than six months, the hours will be calculated over the entire period have worked
If your hours are variable but you have worked for a period of seven days or fewer, you may receive the total number of hours you have worked
How do you apply for COVID-19 sick pay? COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave is available for immediate use. Inform your client right away that you need to take sick leave and submit a sick leave claim to the county. You must complete the form TEMP 3021 (4/21), which requires both provider and recipient information, as well as claim dates, and the reason for claiming sick time.
We will update this page with the form as soon as it is made available.
Labor-negotiated deal protects older Californians, people with disabilities
United Domestic Workers of America (UDW/AFSCME 3930), a union representing over 125,000 In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) workers, today released the following statements after the California Legislature passed legislation providing two weeks of supplemental paid sick leave benefits to California’s workers through September 30, 2022.
UDW Executive Director UDW said:
“Thanks to the advocacy of organized labor representing frontline workers, California’s long-term care system is stronger today and better prepared to handle the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. By passing an extension of supplemental sick leave for California’s workers, the State Legislature has ensured that essential workers like IHSS providers will be able to protect their clients and their own families if they have been exposed or infected with COVID-19. We are pleased the state has heeded our advocacy on behalf of home care workers.”
UDW Statewide President Editha Adams, an IHSS caregiver for her adult daughter, said:
“As caregivers, we work tirelessly to ensure our clients are safe and comfortable and that their needs are met. But, because we are paid so little, we are often unable to meet our own needs. Extending pandemic sick leave gives home care providers a safety net in the unfortunate event we are impacted by the virus and allows us to focus on what we do best: protecting the older residents and people with disabilities in our communities.”
Last year, Salvador Lopez Segura became the primary caregiver for every single member of his immediate family, including his wife and both of his disabled sons, Cesar and David. He struggled to care for everyone’s physical and emotional well-being while also keeping up with bills and other needs and knew he needed help.
Ten years ago, Salvador’s youngest son David was headed to college. Then a diagnosis of Cerebral Tendonitis Rheumatoid changed everything. Salvador kept his job in the Kern oil fields, but his wife was forced to close her business to care for their son.
In 2019, Salvador’s wife was placed on dialysis and could no longer keep up with David’s extensive care needs—in fact, she needed a caregiver herself. So Salvador retired from the oil fields to care for her and their eldest son Cesar stepped in as his little brother’s primary caregiver.
It wasn’t an easy adjustment, but the Lopez Seguras made the best of the situation. Although some days were tough, they were facing the challenges as a family.
Then last year, amid the pandemic and myriad obstacles the family had already faced, things shifted once again. Salvador’s oldest son Cesar lost his ability to walk and was diagnosed with the same illness as his younger brother. Salvador was now the primary caregiver for every person in his family.
With pressure building and a mountain of bills to pay, Salvador knew he needed help increasing his families’ IHSS hours, which were limited to 111 per month. He knew that he had his union to lean on and visited his local UDW office in Bakersfield to talk through his case. His union representative walked him through the appeals process to ask for more hours, including tips on collecting the correct paperwork from David’s doctors and help submitting the paperwork to the correct people to ensure a quick response. Together, they successfully completed the appeals process, earning Salvador an additional 75 paid hours per month to care for David and retroactive pay of over $1,000 for the previous months.
“It’s been a relief to have the additional hours. I don’t have to stress as much about money, and I don’t fall behind on payments anymore. It’s so comforting to know that when there is something I don’t understand, I always have someone to call.”
Salvador and his family still face many challenges, but too few IHSS hours is not one of them. They are hopeful about their future and are happy to have the strength and experience of the union behind them. Having seen how important UDW is for IHSS providers in his community, Salvador helps his fellow union members in any way he can, including collecting signatures in support of our Kern County Term Limits campaign, volunteering at local drives, and more.
“UDW has helped me grow so much,” Salvador says. “Now it’s my turn to give back in the same way they’ve supported me and other providers”.