September 14, 2021
2021 UDW convention was all about looking forward
On August 31, our elected delegates gathered for our 17th Constitutional Convention. Because the pandemic is still a threat to public health, we held an in-person/online hybrid convention with the main program taking place in the UDW Riverside office and delegate’s joining digitally from satellite offices across the state. Though we hold conventions every three years to carry out the necessary business of our union, these events are also a chance to take stock of where we’ve been—and where we are going.
The theme for this convention was “Our Union, Our Future” and, along with celebrating our many wins, we all reveled in the chance to be optimistic after challenging times.
Our Statewide President Editha Adams kicked things off by highlighting how far we have come together. “In the past few years, UDW has ramped up our involvement in social justice movements, while continuing our work to protect and expand long-term care and fix the broken child care system,” she said. “In the three short years since our last convention, we have accomplished so much together—and that’s why I am so happy to be here with you, celebrating everything we’ve done so far, and everything we’re about to do to build a better future for UDW members and our communities.”
Two of the biggest victories we celebrated have come in the last year: removing the 7 percent cut to IHSS hours once and for all, and ratifying the first contract ever for our child care members. Lee Saunders, President of our parent union, AFSCME, spoke to the convention and emphasized that UDW wins for our members because of our strength as a union and our special tenacity as people who do care work. He also noted that, as a union that is by majority women and people of color, we are unafraid to take on the larger work of social justice.
“What you’ve accomplished has inspired your AFSCME family and working people all across the country,“ Saunders said. “You have always known that representing your members means addressing the interconnected inequalities that they face. That’s why you have been a force for justice.”
We will be an even bigger force for justice going forward, as the 2021 UDW Convention made the full integration of our child care membership into our union official. With 20,000 new care workers added to our strength, we are bigger—and stronger—than ever!
In his keynote address, UDW Executive Director Doug Moore laid out how we will use our growing power to make real and lasting change in the world, and what that change will look like.
“We want to live in a California where everyone has the care they need, every care worker is rewarded for their work with good pay and benefits, and where everyone has the resources to live a good life and realize their dreams,” Doug said. “The past for workers like us was discrimination and oppression. The present for us has been about sacrifice. The future of our union, brothers and sisters, is justice.”
At convention, UDW members attended a workshop on Labor and Social Justice 101, saw presentations from Kaiser Permanente, the B5 Foundation, and CAIPTC, and heard keynotes from Doug Moore, President Saunders, and California Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber. Elected member delegates voted on changes to our union’s constitution, which will be posted to our website upon final approval by AFSCME, and voted to approve the following resolutions:
Resolution 1: Caregiving for a Just Recovery
Resolution 2: Universal Long Term Supports and Services and Child Care
Resolution 3: The Master Plan on Aging
Resolution 4: Racial and Economic Justice for All
Resolution 5: Stop Anti-Asian Violence
Resolution 6: Solidarity with Palestinian People
Resolution 7: Supporting Environmental Justice
Resolution 8: Supporting Alternatives to Police to Keep UDW Members and Families Safe During Crises
Resolution 9: Secure Retirement and Paid Time Off
Stay connected to your union to find out more about the new and exciting plans we have for building that justice. Because this is Our Union, and Our Future!
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