UDW caregivers Noreen Woods, Victoria Lara, and Cheryl Sevier of San Diego discussing pay equality with state lawmakers.

Dignity for All campaign aims to bring equality to IHSS providers and clients across the state.

In Riverside County, Robin Edwards earns $11.50 per hour for providing around the clock care for her client Jason, who lives with chronic kidney disease. She prepares his meals, transports him to his weekly dialysis appointments, and helps him with everyday tasks around the house.

Rose Montaño performs similar tasks for her daughter Nicolette, who lives with hydrocephalus and cerebral palsy. But Rose makes less each day because she lives in San Diego County, which only pays providers $10.50 per hour.

“We’ve been waiting for a raise in Riverside County for 10 years. It’s time.” — 
Mieachia Cooper, UDW caregiver, Riverside County. 

We’re working to change this. Partnering with SEIU Local 2015, we are lobbying lawmakers to allow IHSS providers to negotiate pay and benefits with the State of California — instead of with 58 different counties. This is particularly important because earlier this year Governor Brown ended state-level bargaining for providers in 7 counties that were part of the failed Coordinated Care Initiative.“It doesn’t make sense that we make minimum wage, but providers in other counties are making $11, $12 and even $13 an hour,” said Michael Patterson, an IHSS provider in Tuolumne County who cares for his client living with a neuro-muscle disorder. “If everyone bargains with the state, we can earn the same amount for the quality care that we provide.”

Next steps: Join us in calling lawmakers in their districts and at the State Capital and asking them to support statewide bargaining. Call 1-855-912-7804 to be connected to your local lawmaker.

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.