July 2008

The Wisdom of Solomon

Faye HeraldI attended the jurisdictional hearings on July 14th and 15th in Manhattan Beach, Calif., and was quite impressed with the
leadership we have in our president, Tyrone Freeman.

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FUTURE OF LONG-TERM CARE: Members take action to stop budget cuts at hearing

Workers contacted their elected officials July 14 and 15 to
demand that they protect programs that serve California’s elderly and
disabled.Members writing letters to the governor

The workers were in Manhattan Beach to attend an SEIU
jurisdictional hearing that explored the question of how to most effectively
organize California’s caregivers and nursing home employees.The issue at stake was whether the workers
should unite themselves into one powerful, statewide union.At the moment, those who care for the
elderly and the disabled are represented by several competing locals.

Caregivers took advantage of the hearings to call their
elected officials and to write them letters and postcards.It was all part of an effort to stave off
major budget cuts that would adversely affect the well being of hundreds of
thousands of Californians.

In his latest budget, Gov. Schwarzenegger has proposed a
devastating 18 percent cut to the In-Home Supportive Services program.This program provides vital help to the
elderly and disabled and enables them to receive care in their homes.Since it was started, the program has saved
Californians millions that would have otherwise been pent on costly
institutionalization.

“I know that California faces a budget shortfall,” said Julie Chow, a of the workers manning the phones. “But it’s crazy to balance the budget on the backs of the elderly. I take care of my dad at home, and I’m only able to do it because of the IHSS program. If it wasn’t for the program, I’d have to put him in a home…and that would end up costing the state a lot more than the little bit that they’re paying me now.”

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FUTURE OF LONG-TERM CARE: Hundreds of LTC Workers Gather at Hearing to Support One Long-Term Care Union

Want to find out more about uniting all long-term care worker in ONE union? Visit StrongerAsOne.org

ULTCW Members!

On July 14 and 15, hundreds of ULTCW nursing home and homecare workers from up and down California gathered in Manhattan Beach to listen to a hearing to determine the future of long-term care workers in the state.

Each local that represents long-term care workers in California – ULTCW, Local 521 and UHW – participated and testified in the two-day long hearings.
About Long-Term Care
The hearing this week is the second of two to take place in response to a plan set forth by SEIU delegates starting eight years ago to re-organize SEIU members into industry-based locals. For long-term care workers, this means uniting into one healthcare local that specializes in long-term care.

“We’re stronger in numbers,” said Pam Hall, a ULTCW homecare worker who attended the hearings. “If all homecare workers come together, we can lift the boat for everyone and change Sacramento.”

ULTCW President Tyrone Freeman, in his presentation to the hearing officer, said that this isn’t an issue of one local being better than the others.

“UHW, Local 521 and ULTCW are all fine locals, who work daily to do what’s best for their workers,” he said. “But what we’ve come to discuss today is what is best for the future of long-term care in California.”

A union that can be 100 percent focused on long-term care and run programs specifically designed for long-term care workers’ needs can serve these workers best, Freeman said.

ULTCW is the only of the three unions completely focused on long-term care.

Because homecare contracts, are negotiated on a county by county basis, homecare workers from ULTCW testified that we need a statewide strategy to lift all workers up.

“We need to speak with a single voice to really affect change in government,” said Wilda Walker, a homecare worker from Alameda County that testified on Tuesday.

“Further, my bothers and sisters in Tulare or Humboldt counties, for instance, don’t make the same $11.50 per hour I make in Alameda,” Walker said. “They do the same work, pay the same high gas prices, but just because they live in less politically-favorable areas, make less money. That isn’t right.”

During the hearings, long-term care workers also took advantage of the huge gathering of members to send e-mails, make phone calls and write letters to the governor to stop his proposed budget cuts to IHSS. He has proposed to cut $355 million to the In-Home Supportive Services program. Read the story here.

Click here for the photo gallery of the event.

Want to find out more about uniting all long-term care worker in ONE union? Visit StrongerAsOne.org

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A Call to Action

Arnold fistWhat are we going to do about the budget cuts? Are we going to write more postcards? How about postcards and emails to politicians, including the governor?

Remember the Governor and some other politicians have websites under their names with email address included where you can contact them.

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Thousand Oaks Hosts a Forum on Budget Cuts

AdvocateOn July third, I went to Thousand Oaks to the Grant R. Brimhall Library where the seventh forum about the budget cuts took place.

The forum was hosted by ULTCW. I traveled to thousand Oaks with a small group of women in a union van. As I entered the meeting room, I was handed a complete run down of the budget cuts.

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Observations From The Convention

It was on a sunny and happy day when the clock struck 3 in the
afternoon, after our long but joyous trip to a pleasure island,
appropriately named Puerto Rico

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NewsFlash: Daily Headlines

Money, ads give health care top political billing
Sacramento Bee

WASHINGTON — Health care is returning as a campaign issue, with
special interest and advocacy groups preparing to spend at least $60
million to push politicians to embrace universal access to medical
coverage.

The efforts, one by a coalition of labor and liberal
groups and another by AARP, also include direct appeals to the
presidential contenders and congressional candidates to change a system
in which millions of people are without coverage.

A coalition of
labor unions and Democratic-leaning organizations called Health Care
for America Now on Tuesday was announcing a $40 million campaign to
promote affordable health care coverage for all. The group is spending
$1.5 million on a national cable ad, and print and Web advertising. It
also plans to spend $25 million on advertising through the end of the
year. The effort will concentrate on key congressional districts in 45
states, where the coalition also plans to deploy 100 organizers.

Coca-Cola Settles Lawsuit For $137.5 Million
Fox

ATLANTA

 — 

The Coca-Cola Co., the world’s largest beverage maker, has agreed to
pay $137.5 million to settle a shareholder lawsuit that claimed company
officials misrepresented or omitted information in public statements,
causing the company’s stock price to be inflated. SEIU 1199 Greater New York Pension Fund was the lead plaintiff in the case.

New Coalition Presses for Quality Standards for Assisted Living Facilities in PA

San Francisco Business Times

PHILADELPHIA, July 7 /PRNewswire/ — A new organization of consumers,
family members and advocates for the elderly and the disabled is pushing for
quality standards in Pennsylvania state regulations covering assisted living
facilities.

The Pennsylvania Assisted Living Consumer Alliance (PALCA) formed this
year to ensure that new licensing rules will protect elderly and disabled
residents. About 50,000 people in Pennsylvania currently live in facilities
that may call themselves assisted living facilities.

“It’s essential that we get these regulations right to protect all of
Pennsylvania’s families,” said Alissa Halperin, Senior Attorney and Deputy
Director of Policy Advocacy at the Pennsylvania Health Law Project, the
organization leading the efforts of the Alliance. “We are committed to
championing and supporting individual rights and quality care for everyone.”

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Jewish Labor Committee (JLC) 74th Anniversary Annual Awards Brunch

AwardsDear Brothers and Sisters,

On Sunday, June 29th, II attended the Jewish Labor Committee’s Western Region 74th Anniversary Annual Awards Brunch at the Century Plaza Hyatt Regency Hotel in Century City.

This year’s theme is “Working To Build a Better Future”. In the case of the Jewish Labor Community, it means coming to the assistance of unions and other community organizations that need help within or beyond the Jewish community.

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Taking Advantage of Free and Low-Cost Resources

piggy bankWith prices rising everyday, often it is a challenge to make ends meet. What we make, what we spend, and how much we keep is at the forefront of most Americans minds.

Taking advantage of free and low cost resources can stretch and often increase your income. With a variety of free and lost cost services being offered, most Americans, no matter what income bracket, can keep hard earned dollars in their pocket.

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Don’t hold your breath

Throw me in the ocean with no life jacket.
Standing in a shadow with no love.
Throw me crumbs off the table.
Taste like salt, quench my thirst with vinegar.

Fill my stomach up with false hope.
Can’t make a dollar out of fifty cents.

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