FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 30, 2020
Contact: Margitte Kristjansson, 619-548-4304
Gov. Newsom vetoes AB 1993, denies rights to unemployment insurance for 123,402 family caregivers
Sacramento, CA – When COVID-19 hit and statewide stay-at-home orders were issued, In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) caregivers continued to provide quality care for low-income seniors and people with disabilities, keeping them out of deadly hospitals and nursing homes—even without access to PPE. The governor called them “essential”, the public called them heroes.
But today, Governor Newsom vetoed AB 1993, the Family Caregiver Economic Security Act, and refused 123,402 family caregivers the right to unemployment insurance. These providers, primarily wives and mothers who are by majority women of color and who left careers outside the home to care for disabled children and spouses, deserve the same rights as every other IHSS provider. By vetoing AB 1993, Governor Newsom denied that right and further delayed equality in our state.
“Whenever caregivers are needed we are there,” said UDW President and IHSS provider Editha Adams. IHSS caregivers work for just above minimum wage, with minimal protections, spotty health benefits, and no pension. “Unemployment insurance has never been more important for frontline-working Californians like us.”
AB 1993 wasn’t just an opportunity for the governor to support essential workers in a pandemic. Parent and spouse IHSS providers were excluded from these basic worker protections long ago because lawmakers did not value labor performed by wives and mothers—especially not labor performed by Black and brown women.
“We expected Governor Newsom to have the courage to lead by example and take action to break down systemic racism and sexism by signing AB 1993,” said UDW Executive Director Doug Moore. “Instead he chose to leave caregivers behind.”
United Domestic Workers of America (UDW/AFSCME Local 3930) is a union made up of over 120,000 home 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.