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.
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.