February 3, 2020
Happy New Year to everyone in our caregiver family! I hope 2020 finds you and your family healthy and well.
When we formed the organizing committee that would become UDW in 1977, we had a simple but revolutionary goal: give caregivers the power to protect our clients and improve our lives. As only the third union in the country to be founded by people of color, we brought new voices to the table and changed the conversation.
Now, over 40 years later, we are stronger than ever and adding more members to our movement every day. Here’s what we’re using that power to fight for in 2020 and beyond:
Caregiver power at the county level
Though IHSS is a state program, county boards of supervisors administer it. That means our pay is decided by five local officials who may not value caregiving. This year our number one priority is to make our voices louder in board chambers—and work to elect supervisors who respect our work and value our clients.
Unemployment insurance for caregivers
Caregivers grieve whenever our clients pass. But when our client is a child or spouse, we also lose our income without the safety net of unemployment benefits. Right now, these family providers are not eligible for unemployment insurance. In 2020, we are fighting to change that.
Long-term care for all
Governor Gavin Newsom took the bold step last year of undertaking a comprehensive overhaul of our long-term care system and asked UDW to be part of it. We will make sure that the caregiver experience is woven into every part of his Master Plan on Aging.
2020 is a BIG election year and caregivers are going to be a big part of it! We will endorse candidates who share our values, then hit the doors and phones to make sure they get elected. For a list of our endorsed candidates, visit udwa.org/election-2020/
I look forward to working with you to make all our 2020 goals come true. May your New Year be bright and prosperous, and may we always remain Caregiver Strong!
UDW Statewide President
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