August 7, 2020
To my UDW Family:
We are living through a difficult time. Hundreds of thousands of people have died of COVID-19 worldwide and every community has been impacted—some more than others. UDW members have been on the front lines of this crisis, providing care to seniors and people with disabilities and early education for the children of frontline workers.
And though times are tough, I know that UDW members are tougher.
Our biggest fight so far during this pandemic has been a sadly familiar challenge—cuts to IHSS. Facing a $54 billion budget shortfall, Governor Gavin Newsom proposed drastic cuts to many programs the people in our care rely on, including a 7% across-the-board cut to IHSS hours. Many of us lived through the last 7% cut, and we weren’t about to go through it again.
UDW immediately went to work at every level to make sure that cut didn’t happen. Our efforts, and our solidarity as a union, paid off! The legislature rejected the cut and came up with a new plan. On June 29, Governor Newsom signed a new budget that will keep our IHSS hours safe during this economic downturn.
We also protected care for another important group: California’s children. After seventeen years of organizing work, our child care members in California Child Care Providers United (CCPU-UDW) won our election to represent California’s family child care providers! This win is a huge victory for ALL working families. Union representation means CCPU-UDW can help providers fight for better reimbursement rates and a bigger say in how to fix our state’s broken child care system. And it means home care and child care providers can use our combined strength to work toward a world where everyone has the care they need.
My union family, I hope this summer finds you well. I hope your clients and families are well-cared for. And I hope, during these hard times, you look to the strength and compassion of your fellow caregivers to get you through. We will always be here for you!
IHSS Provider and UDW Statewide President
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