Help us win equal pay for IHSS providers
Throughout the state many IHSS caregivers are earning minimum wage, while some of us make over $13/hour. That’s why in 2017 we’re fighting to win state-level collective bargaining for all IHSS providers in California. Help us win #Dignity4All – call 1-855-912-7804 today and urge your state lawmaker to support our proposal to move IHSS collective bargaining to the state-level.
State audit of IHSS payroll system is out
…and it confirms what we already knew: the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) could be doing a lot more to help providers avoid paycheck delays. Next steps? Our union UDW is sponsoring AB 237, a bill that would make key recommendations from the audit report law – like changing the timesheet rules so that a provider’s work week matches their pay period. Read more here.
UDW mom champions legislation to keep her son and other IHSS clients safe
She’s not just UDW’s statewide Vice President – Astrid Zuniga of Stanislaus County is a grandmother, mother, and home care provider for her adult son Manuel, who lives with autism. This year we’re standing with Astrid to pass legislation that would keep IHSS clients like Manuel safe in interactions with the police. Read more here, and take this survey to get involved.
OC Register: “The Freedom Foundation wants to fight Democrats by busting a California home care union”
Earlier this month UDW caregivers Toni Monique Taloa, Silvia Briseño, and Roy Pridemore were featured in an article by the OC Register about anti-home care group the Freedom Foundation and the importance of our union. “I had never changed an adult diaper or given an insulin shot. I was exhausted. I was isolated,” says Toni Monique in the article. But UDW helped her win protective supervision for her sister, “so I could sleep more than two hours a night and hire another part-time provider to help out. The union gave me back my life.” Read more here.
Reminder: The deadline to file our IRS tax returns is next Tuesday, April 18th.
If your household income was less than $54,000 in 2016, you can have your taxes filed for free. This tax season, don’t let filing your returns be a hassle – instead take advantage of ways to keep money in your pockets and get your hard earned money back. If your household income was less than $54,000 in 2016, you can have your taxes filed for free. Go to www.caleitc4me.org/get-it to find a free tax prep location near you.
On Saturday, January 21st, millions of women, men, and children in hundreds of cities around the world stood together in unity as part of the Women’s March on Washington. In California, it is estimated that 880,000 or 1 in every 45 residents attended a local march in dozens of cities across the state.
For UDW members, the reasons to march were as diverse as the nearly 98,000 IHSS providers our union represents, but a sense of urgency and a passion to fight for our rights united us all. We were among the huge crowds of people standing up for the environment, equal rights for women and people of color, immigrant rights, the rights of people with disabilities, and LGBTQ rights, home care, and our health care – rights that millions feel are under attack.
“I marched because women should be able to make decisions about our bodies,” said UDW member Luz Cedeno from Orange County. “And I marched because taking away the Affordable Care Act without a plan, and potentially cutting Medicaid would be harmful.”
The day before the march, an executive order was signed to push federal agencies to weaken the Affordable Care Act (ACA) also known as Obamacare. Changes to the ACA that don’t include a plan to improve and replace it could be particularly detrimental to UDW caregivers and our families, because an estimated 75,000 of us are now eligible for free or lower cost health insurance because of it.
“I marched because everything that many before us fought and even died for is at risk of being undone,” said UDW Vice President Astrid Zuniga who spoke at the Women’s March in Modesto.
As a union, we have been fighters for many social justice causes. We do this work because none of us are only caregivers. We are women, men, young people, older adults, immigrants, members of the LGBTQ community, people of color, people with disabilities, Republicans, Democrats, Independents, low-wage workers, the middle class, formerly incarcerated people, and so much more. We don’t let these differences divide us, instead we meet at the intersection of all of these identities and fight together for justice for us all.
“It was so amazing and liberating to stand up for the rights of our clients and for home care,” said Kym Icke, a UDW member from San Diego County. “By marching, we told our elected leaders that we are here and we are important.”
“I marched to ensure our rights aren’t violated,” echoed UDW member Camilla Bradford from Riverside County. “Our health. Our choice. Our bodies. LGBT rights. Everything. We must unite, stand together, and fight. We can’t put women back 300 years.”
Desmond Prescott, also from Riverside County, was one of the many men who marched. “I marched to support my fellow caregivers, and celebrate the contribution these women make to our society.”
No matter your reason for marching or not marching, it was a historic day that our country and the world will remember for decades to come. “I took my granddaughter with me,” said Cassandra Sambrano, a UDW member who attended the march in Riverside. “She’s eight years old, and I took her because I wanted her to be part of history.”
We want this beautiful moment of solidarity to spark a movement that is not fleeting, but instead creates a ripple effect that continues to move people to action on issues facing our families and communities. Many UDW caregivers have been social justice activists for years, but some of us are new and need help figuring out what to do next. Some suggestions include:
Let’s keep moving forward, together!
For Immediate Release
September 23, 2016
Contact: Margitte Kristjansson, 619-548-4304
Senate Bill 1330 updates law enforcement’s “Be On the Lookout” bulletin to include people with developmental disabilities
Sacramento – Today Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 1330 into law. The bill, which was sponsored by the United Domestic Workers/AFSCME Local 3930 (UDW) and authored by Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton), updates the “Be On the Lookout” bulletin to include individuals who are cognitively impaired or developmentally disabled.
The “Be On the Lookout” alert is a tool used by California law enforcement to quickly search for and locate a missing person who is at-risk. Previously, legislation limited the scope of “at-risk” to a person who is mentally impaired. A small update to the law now ensures that the estimated 250,000 Californians who live with developmental disabilities are covered as well.
“We’re thankful to Senator Galgiani for her leadership on SB 1330,” said UDW Executive Director Doug Moore. “The bill made a small but critical update to a policy that affects many families in California. Every minute a loved one is missing is terrifying, and every moment counts. By updating the law’s language to include those who are cognitively impaired and people with developmental disabilities, we can give more peace of mind to thousands of families in our state.”
Half of the parents surveyed by the National Institutes of Health reported that their children with autism spectrum disorder wandered away from home or their families, and a quarter of those who wandered were missing long enough to be considered in danger.
“My son is getting older and is prone to wander. Signing SB 1330 into law means that law enforcement will know he is a person with developmental disabilities and therefore at higher risk,” said UDW Vice President Astrid Zuniga, who helped champion the bill. Astrid’s son Manuel lives with severe autism, and she works as his in-home care provider in Stanislaus County. “This bill could save lives by giving police officers a better understanding of who they are looking for.”
United Domestic Workers of America (UDW)/AFSCME Local 3930 is a home care union made up of nearly 94,000 in-home caregivers across the state of California. UDW caregivers provide care through the state’s In-Home Supportive Services program (IHSS), which allows over half a million California seniors and people with disabilities to stay safe and healthy at home.
By Editha Adams, UDW President and IHSS provider
UDW is strong because we are a union led by caregivers, for caregivers. We know personally the issues that IHSS providers face because we are IHSS providers.
This year, we elected our new UDW Executive Board and District Advisory Boards. I am proud to introduce the leaders who will work with all of us to protect IHSS and help strengthen UDW for the next three years. You can read more about our work in the latest President’s report here.
Statewide President – Editha Adams
Editha has been an IHSS provider since 2003. She cares for her youngest daughter Ellis who lives with chronic lung disease.
Executive Vice President – Astrid Zuniga
Astrid works as the IHSS provider for her son Manuel who lives with severe autism.
Secretary Treasurer – Lientuong “Rose” Nguyen
Rose has been an IHSS provider for 18 years, and cares for her sister.
District 1 Vice President – Gerald “Brooks” Ashby
Brooks has been an IHSS provider for 14 years and takes care of his mother Daisy who lives with osteoporosis, Crohn’s disease, and high blood pressure.
District 2 Vice President – Christine Nguyen
Christine provides care for her 98-year-old mother, and has been an active member of UDW since 2005.
District 3 Vice President – Rosa Beltran
Rosa works as the IHSS provider for her mom who lives with dementia and her father who has diabetes and limited mobility.
District 4 Vice President – Florence “Corie” Crowson
Corie has provided IHSS care for her mother Dorothy who lives with severe COPD since 2008.
District 5 Vice President – Elva Munoz
Elva is the home care provider for three non-family IHSS clients.
District 6 President – William Reed
William has been an IHSS provider for 20 years, caring for his son William who lives with autism.
District 8 Vice President – Maria Isabel Serrano
Maria has been an IHSS provider since 2006. She currently provides care for a young woman with Down syndrome.
UDW Executive Director – Doug Moore
Doug has been Executive Director of UDW since 2008. He has over 30 years of experience building member-led unions, and is an AFSCME International Vice President.
DISTRICT ADVISORY BOARD
District 1 – San Diego County
Chair: Gerald “Brooks” Ashby
Vice-Chairperson: Maria Teran
Recording Secretary: Nicanora Montenegro
County Representatives: Cheryl Sevier, Noreen B. Woods
District 2 – Orange County
Chair: Christine Nguyen
Recording Secretary: Hazim Al Bustani
County Representatives: Angie Nguyen, Luz Cedeno
District 3 – Riverside County
Chair: Rosa Beltran
Vice-Chairperson: Camilla E. Bradford
Recording Secretary: Kathleen J. Crick
County Representatives: Cassandra Sambrano, Rosa Ramirez
District 4 – Alpine, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne Counties
Chair: Florence “Corie” Crowson
Vice-Chairperson: Terry Walker-Dampier
Recording Secretary: Rebecca C. Peña
County Representatives: Karen A. Bennett (Madera), Susana Saldana (Merced), Lidia Rodriguez (Stanislaus)
Vacant: County Representatives in Alpine, Mariposa, Mono, and Tuolumne
District 5 – Kern, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara Counties
Chair: Elva Munoz
Vice-Chairperson: Wymon Johnson
Recording Secretary: Vibiana Saavedera
County Representatives: Julie Otero (Kern), Hue Diep (San Luis Obispo), Sarah Ilenstine (Santa Barbara)
District 6 – Butte, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sierra, and Sutter Counties
Chair: William Reed
Vice-Chairperson: Lisa Scott
Recording Secretary: Vacant
County Representatives: Mark S. Villalobos (El Dorado), Sharon Duchessi (Placer)
Vacant: County Representatives in Butte, Nevada, Plumas, Sierra and Sutter
District 8 – Imperial County
Chair: Maria Isabel Serrano
Vice-Chairperson: Leonor Pelayo
Recording Secretary: Maria Godinez
County Representative: Diana Sanchez