UDW members elected by their peers to be delegates gathered in San Diego on June 7-9 for our 16th Constitutional Convention. Under a slogan that reflects the work we do and what it takes to do it— “Caregiver Strong”—we set a course for UDW’s future that focuses on protecting IHSS, raising the pay and status of caregivers, and standing up for the values we share as working people.
UDW bylaws call for conventions to be held every three years. At convention, we bring our experiences and our wisdom to the table to report on what we’ve accomplished so far and prepare for the challenges that lay ahead of us.
UDW President Editha Adams shared some of our successes and challenges during her President’s report, including: demanding and getting an audit of the IHSS payroll system, winning the option to use online timesheets, overtime pay and restoration of the seven percent cut to IHSS made during the budget crisis. She also talked about the issues we continue to fight: Federal interference in our program from Medicaid cuts and Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) and our most important issue UDW has and will never stop fighting for: raising caregiver pay.
“As I look back on the last three years, I am both proud of what we’ve done and excited for what we can yet accomplish,” said Adams.
When he addressed the convention, UDW Executive Director Doug Moore urged delegates to look to the bigger issues of social justice if we want to truly better life for ourselves and our families.
“As a union, we have always fought for more than just wages and benefits to better our members’ lives,” said Moore. “We know that helping ourselves, our clients and our families means helping our communities and the people in them. UDW is shaping the future by investing in people, always looking for ways we can lift each other up where others try to keep us down.”
Several special guests joined us to show their support for the work that UDW caregivers do. Assemblymember Shirley Weber, AFSCME International President Lee Saunders, President Pro Tem of the California State Senate Toni Atkins and Executive Director of the Solidarity Center Shawna Bader-Blau all addressed our delegates, offering support and perspective for the work caregivers do at home and in their communities. All speakers expressed gratitude and respect for the work that caregivers do.
“I see compassionate people making it possible for the sick and elderly to live in their own homes with comfort and dignity,” said Bader-Blau as she looked around the room.
For UDW member and convention delegate Maria Vega from Orange County, the convention was a valuable learning opportunity. “You learn more, you get to ask questions—everyone’s so helpful!” she said. Vega, who cares for her mother, said she learned about how the union works and is governed, but also about using new technology tools like the UDW App that help her everyday as a caregiver. And, of course, she learned to stay motivated to protect IHSS and our clients. “You keep fighting,” she said, “and you never give up.”
At convention we also passed several resolutions to help guide our future work (see full list below), and made changes to our constitution.
“I felt so privileged to be able to attend,” said UDW caregiver Denise Justice of Santa Barbara County. “Seeing resolutions being passed was very cool and exciting – it gave me the extra push to get out there and be active. The solidarity and comradery of my brothers and sisters at convention was amazing.”
After two days of hard work, we wrapped up convention with a Saturday night gala. Caregivers, who rarely get a night out, put on our dancing shoes and celebrated all that we accomplished together.
See pictures from the 2018 UDW Convention here.
2018 Convention Resolutions
UDW caregivers started 2016 off with a bang. In fact, we made history.
On February 1st, for the first time ever, eligible IHSS providers began receiving pay for the hours of overtime we work – a right we fought hard to secure throughout 2015.
Throughout the year, we worked with the state to make sure overtime was a benefit for all providers. With our help, the state developed exemptions to the tough new IHSS overtime and workweek rules that helped prevent unfair disruptions in our clients’ care.
Social Security and unemployment benefits for ALL caregivers
In 2016, we also began our work to win unemployment, Social Security, and Medicare benefits for IHSS providers who care for their spouse or child – an issue that has affected many of us personally, including former IHSS provider Cathyleen Williams from Barstow.
“I was Caleb’s mother, but I was also his home care provider,” wrote Cathyleen in an op-ed in the San Diego Union-Tribune. “Caleb passed away and my job as his home care provider ended, I applied for — and was denied — unemployment.”
With Cathyleen’s and so many other stories to push us, we fought hard to get our sponsored bill, AB 1930, passed through both the Senate and the Assembly. The bill would have convened a committee to look into the financial impact exclusion from basic benefits like unemployment pay has on parent and spouse providers. Although AB 1930 was passed unanimously by the legislature, Governor Brown vetoed it in late September.
“I don’t think I will ever be able to truly put into words the pain of losing a child,” continued Cathyleen. “But I know I want to help lessen this pain for other parent and spouse home care providers who have to navigate the world without their loved one and no social safety net.”
Instead of looking at the veto of AB 1930 as a defeat, UDW caregivers can take solace in the fact that our elected leaders and the public heard us, as we can continue our work to win these benefits in 2017.
$15, paid sick days, and more
In April, we helped win one of the toughest battles facing working people today – the Fight for $15. Because of rallies, marches, lobby visits at the Capitol, demonstrations and more work alongside other low wage workers, our elected leaders agreed to a plan that will raise California’s minimum wage to $15 by 2022 and give IHSS providers paid sick days.
“This a huge victory for all working Californians, but especially IHSS providers,” said UDW President and our fellow home care worker Editha Adams. “We’ve been denied paid sick leave and a livable wage for far too long.”
We celebrated this amazing achievement, but we also used it as a stepping stone. We know the work of IHSS providers is worth far more than minimum wage, which is why UDW caregivers went All In for Care. At the state level in Orange, Riverside, and San Diego counties, and at the county level in other UDW counties, we will continue to demand respect, dignity, as well as fair pay and benefits for our work at the bargaining table.
Cuts to the IHSS program have a direct impact our caregivers and our clients. The 7% cut to our clients’ hours of care was restored for one year in 2015. In 2016, we also lobbied and successfully urged our elected leaders to restore our clients’ hours for another three years.
Your IHSS paycheck
As we all know, the current IHSS payroll system is far from reliable. Early this year, UDW caregivers decided that enough was enough. We’re tired of waiting for late paychecks and timesheets, and we’re tired of not knowing if and when we’ll be able to pay our bills.
In May, we testified at a joint Legislative Audit Committee hearing at the Capitol to ask the legislature to approve an audit of the IHSS payroll system. Claire Kaufman, an IHSS provider for her daughter Katie in El Dorado County, was one of the providers who told her story. “Last November, I submitted my IHSS timesheet for the first 15 days of the month and waited for my paycheck,” said Claire. “I waited days and then weeks, unable to get an answer about the delay.” Claire was finally paid just before Christmas in 2015, but her family had to sacrifice their holidays so that she could catch up on their bills.
The committee approved the audit, and we expect to receive the findings in early 2017. UDW will then use them to create legislation that will address and fix the problems with the payroll system.
We didn’t stop at the audit, though, and throughout the year we continued to urge the state to make improvements. Finally, in October, after a lot of pressure from UDW, the state announced it would offer an electronic timesheet option in 2017.
Election Day 2016
In addition to our UDW fights and victories, we elected a new president in 2016, and despite our feelings – good or bad – about the outcome, President-elect Trump will take office in January. The incoming president, his administration, and the Republican led Congress have all expressed opposition to programs on which IHSS providers, recipients, and working families rely.
The election sets the stage for some major fights in 2017:
House Speaker Paul Ryan has long threatened to cut Medicaid, which provides 55% of the funding for IHSS.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said repealing the ACA, which has made an estimated 75,000 UDW caregivers eligible for free or low-cost health coverage, would be “the first item up in the new year.”
The Freedom Foundation
And an anti-home care organization known as the Freedom Foundation has begun targeting UDW caregivers – making themselves a major threat in 2017. The Freedom Foundation tells IHSS providers to quit their union in order to save money. Unfortunately, they don’t tell the full story. As a union, we’ve fought and won big victories, not only this year (see a list of our many victories together here). No one provider could do alone what we do together. The Freedom Foundation wants to weaken strong unions like ours, in order to further their corporate billionaire-backed agenda.
Preparing for 2017
In 2017 we will continue to urge the state to fix the IHSS payroll system once and for all, and we will keep pushing for Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment pay for spouse and parent providers.
It will also be our time to prove that when UDW home care workers stand together, we can fight back against attempts to take our healthcare, weaken IHSS, or weaken us as a union by taking our voice and power. The stakes have never been higher, but we have protected home care and our clients time and time again – if we stand together, next year will be no different.
We look forward to fighting for home care with you in 2017. Happy New Year!
By Editha Adams, UDW President and IHSS provider
When Maria Fe Camacho needed help getting more hours for her 21-year old daughter Kelly, she turned to UDW. Kelly lives with MS and other disabilities, and needs to be constantly monitored. Maria Fe knew she need additional hours and protective supervision.
I helped Maria Fe get the necessary paperwork completed, and when Kelly was denied protective supervision, I helped her appeal the decision. Not long after we submitted the appeal, Maria Fe received a phone call telling her the protective supervision was approved without going to a hearing. With the new increase in hours, Maria Fe’s husband Thomas became one of Kelly’s IHSS providers, as well.
With the help of UDW, many IHSS providers like the Camacho family have received help getting their clients much needed hours.
Here are a few tips that may help you:
TIP 1: Exercise your right to appeal. You know your client’s needs best. If you think they were assessed less hours than they need, appeal the decision.
TIP 2: Get everything in writing. Get written documentation from your client’s doctor stating their needs and the type of care they require. If your client needs protective supervision, make sure that is in the documentation.
TIP 3: Prepare for your hearing date. Your appeal may require a hearing. Make sure all of your documentation is in order, and prepare the points you plan to make in advance.
TIP 4: Know you’re not alone. For more personalized help with your situation contact your local UDW office to get help from your Advocacy Council.
What a summer it has been so far! We helped win full funding of the IHSS program for three more years, meaning the end to cuts to our clients’ hours of care. And we are now on the road to improving the IHSS payroll system, so caregivers and our families no longer deal with the harmful impact of late paychecks and timesheets. An audit of the payroll system has begun, and the state announced they will begin an electronic timesheet pilot program in April 2017.
As our legislators and the governor complete this year’s legislative session, we will continue to support bills that will improve the lives of caregivers and our families. Bills like SB 1234, would give California workers the option to have a small percentage of their wages automatically deducted and set aside for retirement. IHSS providers are currently included in the bill, and will find out soon if we are eligible for this program. We will also continue to fight for our sponsored bill AB 1930, which will start the process of extending Social Security, Medicare, and other social safety net benefits to parent and spouse providers.
UDW Events and Actions
Supporting presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, May 4th
I attended an event hosted by local home care provider union SEIU 2015 in support of Hillary Clinton.
2016 Walk to Cure Arthritis, June 4th
I volunteered with fellow UDW caregivers to support the success of this walk. The event was attended by about 3,000 participants.
Placer County membership meeting and picnic, June 16th
I attended and volunteered at the picnic, which was attended by about 500 UDW members, family members, and clients. I helped honor caregivers with awards for their service to our union, and served lunch to the attendees.
AFSCME’s 42nd International Convention, July 18th – 22nd
I attended the convention with a delegation of UDW caregivers in Las Vegas. Throughout the convention, we stood up in support of resolutions that would move our union forward, heard from leaders like AFSCME President Lee Saunders and Secretary-Treasurer Laura Reyes, and stood in solidarity with culinary workers in Las Vegas as they fought for their right to negotiate a union contract.
I attended UDW membership meetings in counties throughout the state. At many of the meetings I helped swear-in UDW’s new elected leaders, and provided members with updates on the latest IHSS and UDW news.
I also travelled the state throughout the quarter to swear in members of UDW’s local boards with UDW Executive Director Doug Moore.
I joined UDW caregivers from Riverside and San Diego at the statewide bargaining table on May 10th and June 8th to negotiate better wages and benefits for IHSS providers in both counties.
California Alliance for Retired Americans (CARA) meeting, May 2nd
We meet via conference call to prepare for a lobby day later that month.
Finance Committee meeting, May 20th
We prepared for the Executive Board meeting, which was held on June 6th.
Communications Committee meeting, May 30th
We meet via conference call to brainstorm and give out assignments for the Summer edition of The Caregiver.
UDW Executive Board meeting, June 6th
Held in San Diego, we met to give updates and discuss the functions, duties, and responsibilities of each member of the board.
California Alliance for Retired Americans (CARA) meeting, June 21st
We prepared for our upcoming CARA regional convention on September 20th.
Member Withdrawal Committee meeting, June 23rd
Discussed a policy for handling withdrawal letters from UDW members, which was pending approval until our next meeting on July 12th.
Riverside Healthcare Trustee conference call, June 23rd
We implemented a temporary freeze on healthcare enrollment in District 3 (Riverside County) due to a budget shortage.
Stipend Committee meeting, June 29th
Held at the San Diego office, the Executive Board discussed a new stipend policy for local and statewide leaders, including work that must be completed to grow the union and due dates for stipend forms.
Stipend Committee meeting, July 6th
Met via conference call to establish the new stipend policy for elected Executive Board members locally and statewide.
Member Withdrawal Committee meeting, July 12th
Approved a process for handling requests from members to withdraw from our union. Established that district chairs will support UDW staff in communicating with members who want to withdraw from the union.
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
UDW caregivers stood alongside thousands of public service workers to declare we will NEVER QUIT at AFSCME’s 42nd International Convention last week in Las Vegas. “It truly was a learning experience,” said Susana Saldana, an IHSS provider for her son and first time convention delegate from Merced County. “I enjoyed meeting people from all over the country and learning best practices from fellow union members.”
UDW is a California affiliate of the national union AFSCME, and including UDW’s over 94,000 home care providers, AFSCME represents 1.6 million workers around the country. AFSCME members are public servants who work as nurses, 911 dispatchers, law enforcement officers, child care providers, sanitation workers, home care providers, and more. What we have in common is a commitment to protecting public programs like IHSS, and to winning social and economic justice for working families.
At the same time, membership in a powerful national union helps us protect IHSS. While we fight back against threats to the program here in California, AFSCME is able to help us protect home care in Washington D.C., where many decisions are made that impact funding for IHSS.
Every two years, UDW members serve as delegates to AFSCME’s International Convention. At convention, we vote in support or opposition to resolutions that set the union’s agenda and priorities.
This year, we stood in favor of a resolution to demand stronger long term care services and supports for Americans who rely on services like in-home care. And we gave strong support to resolutions demanding an increase in the minimum wage. “No one who works full-time should have to go home and struggle to provide for their families,” said UDW delegate and IHSS provider LaTanya Cline from San Diego County, in regards to the resolution.
UDW caregiver Nicanora Montenegro, an IHSS provider from San Diego, asked convention delegates to stand in support of a resolution on protecting the right to vote. “Our country has changed, but we have a long way to go,” said Nicanora. “Our vote is our voice…voting rights of people of color in particular must be protected and expanded.”
Many of us addressed the entire delegation to talk about our latest victories here in California. Placer County Chair William Reed spoke about our recent overtime pay win. “This victory was only possible because we stood together and we did not quit,” said William. “And we will keep fighting until home care workers all over the country have the same rights and benefits as all workers.”
Convention is also the time that we elect the leaders who will represent UDW as AFSCME International Vice Presidents. This year, the delegation reelected UDW Executive Director Doug Moore and Johanna Hester to these positions. During the nomination process, we thanked Doug and Johanna for their leadership through some of our union’s biggest fights, including ending cuts to the IHSS program and growing our union despite threats like the Harris vs. Quinn Supreme Court decision.
But convention wasn’t only about resolutions and elections, we also took action! Thousands of us marched in solidarity with workers who are trying to form a union at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas. Despite winning their union election in December, Trump International has refused to begin contract negotiations and has fired and intimidated workers who are union supporters. After our march in the hot Las Vegas sun, it was announced that a settlement had been reached to pay two workers $11,200 in lost wages.
“This was epic,” said San Diego IHSS provider and first time convention delegate Noreen Woods. “To see solidarity at its finest was awesome. Thousands of AFSCME brothers and sisters showed up to support the hotel workers, and hearing that a settlement was reached showed me that we are being heard. We can’t stop fighting. Yesterday was a show of the power we’ve built through our union.”
For more photos from the AFSCME 2016 convention, click here.
It has been an exciting few months for UDW caregivers. Our eligibility for overtime, travel time, and medical wait time began on February 1st, and provided many home care workers with a much needed increase in their wages. And after years of rallying, marching, and telling our stories alongside other underpaid workers in the Fight for $15, lawmakers finally passed a minimum wage increase in April. The new law will increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2022, and provide IHSS workers with three paid sick days!
We should celebrate all of our victories as we continue our work to win justice. And our latest fight, justice for parent and spouse providers, is a big one. Right now, IHSS providers who provide care for their spouse or child are ineligible for Social Security, Medicare, paid family leave, and unemployment insurance. We are currently working at both the state and federal level to right this terrible wrong.
Finally, remember that starting May 1st, IHSS providers who submit incorrect timesheets will receive program violations. Find out how to avoid violations by visiting: www.udwa.org/timesheets.
UDW President Official Acts, February 2016 – April 2016
UDW Membership Meetings
I attended UDW membership meetings throughout the state, where I provided updates and thanked fellow UDW members for their work in our recent fights to end the 7% cut for good and implement a $15 minimum wage in California.
UDW Member Withdrawal Committee meeting, February 12th
The committee approved our new rules, which were presented to the Executive Board on March 7th.
UDW Executive Board meeting, March 7th
We heard updates from staff and board members, as well as political and legislative updates. We also discussed our parent union AFSCME’s upcoming convention.
UDW Executive Board candidate endorsement meeting, March 28th
The UDW Executive Board met to discuss the candidates our union may endorse in county and state-level political races.
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) meeting, April 10th
During this meeting, I was appointed 1st Vice President. APALA is an organization of Asian American and Pacific Islander workers and allies. We work toward worker and immigrant justice.
UDW Executive Board candidate endorsement meeting, April 12th
The Executive Board met again to talk about additional candidates seeking UDW’s endorsement in political races throughout the state.
Statewide Bargaining with San Diego and Riverside Counties, April 13th and 14th
UDW members from San Diego and Riverside are negotiating together with the state. Together, we are stronger and have a better opportunity to win wage and benefit improvements for IHSS providers and our families. Our next meeting will be held on May 10th.
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) meeting, April 16th
We updated our policies and procedures, and reviewed the APALA laws and constitution. We also continued planning our May APALA event.
California Alliance for Retired Americans (CARA) meeting, April 19th
During the meeting, we prepared for our annual convention, which is expected to be attended by 100 people. The convention will be held on September 20th at 10am. All union members are welcome.
Events and Actions
UDW Lobby Day at the Capitol, March 14th
I spoke to the members before we began lobbying. Later that day we spoke to lawmakers about issues and legislation that impacts IHSS providers, including our work to secure Social Security and other benefits for spouse and parent providers.
San Diego Democratic Party: The 36th Annual Roosevelt Dinner, April 2nd
UDW was a sponsor of the event, and several APALA members attended with me. Lawmakers, leaders, and community members were honored, as we kicked off the election season.
San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council Annual Awards in Excellence Dinner, April 16th
I attended the dinner at the San Diego Zoo, where UDW organizer Sandra Castillo was honored as Organizer of the Year.
All across this state—from the streets of San Diego to the legislative chambers of Sacramento—home care workers have made our voices heard! For the past year we have rallied and marched alongside thousands of underpaid workers to make one thing clear: no one should have to try to survive on less than $15 per hour in California.
Today, UDW Executive Director Doug Moore stood alongside Governor Jerry Brown as he announced a plan to increase minimum wage to $15 by 2022 and provide IHSS home care workers with paid sick leave for the first time ever.
The announcement comes as we are gearing up for demonstrations throughout the state in April, and days after the California Secretary of State’s office stated that more than 400,000 signatures were collected to place the Fair Wage Act of 2016, a measure that calls for a $15 minimum wage by 2021, on the November ballot.
“This a huge victory for all working Californians, but especially IHSS providers,” said UDW President and home care worker Editha Adams. “We’ve been denied paid sick leave and a livable wage for far too long.”
Last year, we joined together with restaurant workers in April and November for the largest-ever national strikes aimed at increasing the minimum wage. Workers in more than 270 cities, from California to New York, walked off the job and carried out massive protests outside city halls where fast-food, home care, child care, and other workers called on politicians and Big Business to raise pay for America’s most underpaid workers. Our coalition also held wage board hearings where we made our case for why increasing workers’ salaries needs to be a part of the national discussion on ending poverty in our communities. Together, we vowed to take our Fight for $15 to the ballot box to show candidates of all political stripes that the nearly 64 million Americans who make less than $15 can no longer be ignored.
Today’s legislative proposal will extend up to three days of paid sick leave to IHSS home care workers, and increase California’s current minimum wage by one dollar over the next two years, and then by a dollar for each year thereafter until reaching $15 per hour in 2022. Future minimum wage increases would be tied to inflation.
The new minimum wage will have a huge impact on the more than 400,000 IHSS providers statewide who currently earn, on average, just $10.72 an hour.
“We worked hard for this,” said UDW member and home care provider Gabriel Paramo from San Diego. He is one of the tens of thousands who is making just $10 per hour and would see a pay raise as early as 2017. “I have peace of mind knowing that we now have a clear path to $15 per hour.”
But we have more work to do!
Over the next few weeks, UDW members will continue to fight for $15 until this legislation is passed in the legislature and signed by the governor. This Thursday we will gather with thousands of workers from across California in Sacramento in support of minimum wage proposal, and on April 14th, we will participate in a nationwide demonstration calling for $15 and a union for all working Americans.
“This is not just a matter of policy—it’s about doing what’s right,” said UDW Executive Director Doug Moore in an earlier statement. “No Californian who works full-time should be living in poverty.”
Get the facts! Read more about this plan here.
Ending the 7% cut to our clients’ hours of care for good
In 2015, we worked together to urge our elected leaders to end the 7% cut, and we were successful when the cuts were ended for one year in the 2015-16 state budget. While we applauded the one-year restoration, we knew we needed to redouble our efforts to finally restore our IHSS clients’ hours for good in 2016.
Last month, when Governor Brown released his proposed 2016-17 budget, I was relieved to see it included restoration of the 7% cut. The method of restoration remains up in the air, but how the cut ends is not as important to caregivers and our clients as making sure it ends for good, no matter what.
We deserve better. Permanently restoring the 7% cut is about dignity and respect. No person should have to make the impossible decision between being bathed or given a meal, because the cut to their hours doesn’t leave them with time for both. This was the harsh reality for many homecare workers and the people we care for during the 7% cut. We can’t go back to that.
To me it’s simple: the 7% cut must be ended permanently, no matter what. This year, we’re not accepting excuses. We will urgently demand dignity for seniors and people with disabilities. Together, we will work together to show our lawmakers that the lives of our IHSS clients matter, and that dignity for seniors and people with disabilities can’t wait.
Editha Adams, UDW President
UDW President Official Acts, November 2015 – January 2016
Attended Provider Appreciation Events and District Membership Meetings
I attended district membership meetings, as well as Provider Appreciation Month events in November to help honor UDW caregivers. At the meetings, I gave updates on the work we’re doing as a union. And at the Provider Appreciation Month events I was able to help recognize the hard work of caregivers and volunteers.
UDW Retiree Chapter Meeting, December 17
The committee discussed our 2016 plans for our new UDW Retiree Chapter, including our upcoming convention.
UDW Finance Committee Meeting, January 11
The UDW Finance Committee reviewed the budget, and made a recommendation to UDW Executive Director Doug Moore.
UDW Member Withdrawal Committee Meeting, January 12
The committee implemented new guidelines and appointed Astrid Zuniga as a Committee Chair.
Communications Committee Meeting, January 14
The committee discussed and implemented new guidelines, and I appointed Christine Petraeus as the Communications Committee Chair.
San Diego and Riverside County State Level Bargaining Meeting, January 11 and 13
UDW providers met with the Statewide Authority to propose and discuss ground rules for bargaining for our first IHSS contract with the state. Our next negotiation meeting will be held in February.
UDW Events and Actions
Jingle Bell Run/Walk, December 12
UDW sponsored the 2015 Jingle Bell Run/Walk in San Diego County. My daughter Ellis and I volunteered, and along with about 700 participants, we helped the Arthritis Foundation raise nearly $150,000.
Democratic Club of Santa Maria Valley Holiday Party, December 17
I joined former Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa as a guest of honor at the Democratic Club of Santa Maria Valley Holiday Party. I educated the attendees about UDW and the IHSS program, and shared UDW’s many 2015 accomplishments, as well as our plans for 2016.