May 20, 2021
Union members, staff, and volunteers counted the votes yesterday at UDW’s San Diego headquarters while union members from all over the state observed the count via Zoom. A final tally yielded 14,360 “yes” votes and 1,612 “no” votes. The new dues structure, which was proposed and approved by a committee of member leaders, means that each member’s dues will be calculated as a percentage of what they earn, rather than based on a tiered system. With a stronger foundation of resources, we are excited to build more power together in order to fight for what IHSS providers, our clients, and our families truly need.
Looking back at the past 15 years, it’s clear how far we’ve come as caregivers — in 2006, IHSS providers made an average of just $6.75 per hour. Today, that average wage has more than doubled to $14.61. In the same span of time, UDW has won overtime pay, paid sick days, direct deposit, and PPE for IHSS providers during the pandemic, in addition to protecting the IHSS program from cuts time and time again. When COVID-19 hit, the world saw the life-saving importance of our work as caregivers — now it’s time to prepare to win the respect and resources we deserve.
Under the new dues structure, we have committed to using our increased power in the fights that matter most to caregivers and our clients. Yesterday’s “yes” verdict means that we can put more resources toward fighting for higher wages, better access to health care, retirement security, a stronger IHSS program that’s safe from cuts, and statewide — not county-by-county — IHSS bargaining. Our shared past has shown us that no one can accomplish these goals alone. But together, we can make this future possible.
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