Statement by UDW Executive Director Doug Moore in response to the deaths of police officers in Dallas, Texas on Thursday night:

Last night following a peaceful #BlackLivesMatter protest in downtown Dallas, a gunman opened fire, killing five police officers and injuring seven others. This tragedy follows the murders of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, black men killed by police officers earlier this week.

Today we mourn the officers killed in the line of duty, just as we continue to mourn the deaths of our black and brown brothers and sisters at the hands of law enforcement. We pray for the families and loved ones of the slain, and we vow to turn our sadness and rage into collective action.

As with the Orlando massacre, those with hate in their hearts want these tragedies to divide us. But that’s not how solidarity works.

In the coming weeks and months, I look forward to working with my union brothers and sisters, community activists, and anyone who wants an end to these senseless deaths. Solidarity means we all have a part to play – whether we’re championing legislation to end gun violence and police brutality, mobilizing our communities to vote, organizing people on the ground, or offering much-needed kindness and compassion to one another. No single person can solve this alone. We must make change together.

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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 hundreds of thousands of seniors and people with disabilities to stay safe and healthy at home.

Statement by UDW Executive Director Doug Moore in response to deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling:

Today we’re enraged about the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, two black men killed by the police who are supposed to protect our communities. Philando Castile was a Teamster, one of our brothers in the labor movement. We have an obligation to act on his behalf, and on behalf of Alton Sterling, Mike Brown, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, and too many more. We cannot and will not be silent. These murders are yet another blatant reminder that we have to be bold in our stance and our action against anti-black and brown racism.

Union members and members of our communities are being killed for nothing more than the perceived threat of the color of their skin. UDW members don’t just look to their union to protect their rights as workers, they want a union that cares about their overall wellbeing, quality of life, and their communities. We can’t help them win better pay, benefits, and labor protections, but sit idly by while they are shot and killed during a traffic stop on the way home.

UDW is prepared to mobilize in the streets with labor and community activists around racial justice and the unarmed killings of black and brown people by police. We will not betray the memory of those who have been killed by turning a blind eye, because our silence condones the actions of the officers who killed these men and others like them. We will not be silent.

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United Domestic Workers of America (UDW)/AFSCME Local 3930 is a homecare 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 hundreds of thousands of seniors and people with disabilities to stay safe and healthy at home.

January 1, 2015

By Doug Moore, UDW Executive Director

We’re at the start of a new and exciting year for UDW. All that we accomplished together in 2015 has put us in a great position to win even more for homecare providers and our clients and loved ones in the New Year. But before we move forward, let’s reflect on where we’ve been.

2015 began with the disappointing announcement that Governor Brown chose to go back on his promise to pay IHSS providers overtime, travel time, and medical wait time.

“I don’t think it’s right,” said Riverside County IHSS provider Jose Diaz when the decision was announced. “We aren’t trying to get rich. We just want to be paid so we can support our families.”

In the face of this devastating news, we fought back. At our Justice for Homecare Tribunal in March, we put the state on trial for its unfair treatment of IHSS providers and our clients. “We need to invest in this program, so it’s available when we need it,” said IHSS recipient Chantal Morris during her tribunal testimony. “And we need to invest in our workers, so they are there to do the job when we need them most.”

Also in March, we held our 15th Constitutional Convention, where it was announced that after over a year of hard work on the part of our member organizers, UDW was 30,00 members stronger. At convention we also welcomed our sisters and brothers of CUHW, and in 2015 we grew from a union of 67,000 homecare providers to nearly 90,000. We were joined by homecare providers from across the world, and passed important resolutions pledging our support to Black Lives Matter and other community-based efforts.

In April and November, UDW caregivers joined the Fight for $15 alongside fast food workers, adjunct professors, and other low wage workers. We committed ourselves to winning justice for all working families, because all workers deserve a living wage and the ability to provide for our families. We solidified this commitment further when we began working to uplift the work of family child care providers, who like homecare providers are undervalued for the work they do to support working families, and many of California’s children.

We worked hard, fought hard, and won big victories!

This summer we defeated the harmful, recession-era 7% cut to our clients’ hours. We converged on the Capitol to demand full restoration of IHSS clients’ hours, and we were heard! In June, Governor Brown signed the current budget, which ended the 7% cut for one year.

In November, after months of demanding #Overtime4Caregivers, the state announced it would finally pay IHSS providers overtime pay for the first time in history. Overtime and other labor protections for homecare workers begins on February 1, 2016, and eligible providers will also receive pay for same-day travel between IHSS clients and medical accompaniment time. “This is a historic victory that is well deserved,” said San Luis Obispo District Chair and IHSS provider Allene Villa. “It shows that leaders know providers mean something and we matter.”

Throughout the year we continued our efforts to win better wages and benefits for homecare workers at the county level, and caregivers in San Diego, Riverside, and Orange counties move forward with state-level bargaining for the first time ever. “I’m here not just for myself but for all homecare workers,” said UDW caregiver Marcus Haynes of Riverside County. “Our team is very strong, and we will win. I don’t want people to starve while they are doing great work, God’s work.”

2016: The Year of the Homecare Worker

One thing people don’t seem to understand about homecare workers is this: we never quit. We don’t quit on our clients and loved ones, we don’t quit on each other, and we won’t quit fighting to protect the homecare program in California.

We deserve dignity and respect, and this year we’re going to demand it! We’re going to work together to end the 7% cut to our clients’ hours for good, and by any means necessary—because dignity can’t wait. We will continue our fight to win retroactive overtime pay for IHSS providers. We’ll work on improvements to the IHSS timesheet process. And together, we will use our strength as a union to help elect the next leaders of our state and country.

I look forward to working with you in the coming months and years. We won’t stop until we win justice.