March 2009

Members in Northern California stay active to fight Budget Cuts

On Friday, March 27th, in Northern California, the members and staff of our Local put on four separate actions to kick off our campaign against the State’s cuts!

In Oakland (Alameda County), 50 members picketed and chanted outside the State building downtown.

In Napa, a group of 10 passed out hundreds of flyers around the County Administration Center, calling on both State and County officials to do the right thing.

In Salinas (Monterey County), 29 members and 4 recipients were present. They distributed about 300 flyers to the public, many of whom were County workers and consumers of public health services.

…And all the way up in Willits (Mendocino County), a brave duo also passed out hundreds of flyers and actively engaged many passers-by.

The vast majority of long-term care workers in Alameda, Napa, Monterey, and Mendocino stand to take a 20% pay cut if we can’t turn the State around.These cuts would be devastating, and must be averted if the federal economic stimulus plan is to work.

Rally 27 March Oakland

March 27

Oakland Rally March 27

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We need YOUR story!


We Need Your Story for ‘The Faces of Home Care’

Caregiver Marguerite Johnson told her story before the City Council of San Bernardino Tuesday 3/24/09. While she was a LVN working 12 hour days, she was also caring for her paraplegic grandson as well. Finally she had to decide which to drop. She chose to be the full time caregiver for her grandson. He needs care around the clock and most things that we take for granted must be done for him. This includes everything from brushing his teeth, to turning him over in bed several times a day, to his twice daily breathing treatments.

Each time we tell our story before the city council, it serves as a reminder of all the hard work that is involved in home care, and we do this to encourage them to work with us at IHSS to achieve a fair contract. We need a contract that not only allows us to feed our families, but also to have the health care that we need to continue giving this care. A fair contract will also help us attract better workers to fill these much needed positions.

Please write your story, how you became an in home worker, what you do, and how a fair contract will help you and call us at the SEIU to let us know you have a story for us.

We will be going to the City Council again on Tuesday April 7th in San Bernardino so we will meet at 9AM at 2nd and Arrowhead to go together. Please make time in your very busy schedule to attend and bring the one you care for.

Carla Eastman

San Bernadino

Marguarite Johnson

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San Bernardino Workers Save Health Plan!

San Bernardino Workers Save Health Plan!
On Tuesday, March 17, 2009,
San Bernardino County IHSS workers returned to the Board of Supervisors to
express their concern over the Public Authority’s desire to unilaterally change
worker healthcare to a plan that would result in less coverage and higher
out-of-pocket costs.  Tuesday’s testimony before the Supervisors came on the
heals of last week’s rally that consisted of approximately 300 homecare workers.
 In addition to San Bernardino County IHSS workers sharing their concerns, two
homecare providers from Sutter County came to share their dreadful experiences
with the Public Authority’s preferred plan provider.  Teresa Anderozzi and Jerry
Williams shared with the Board how, when under Symetra a plan, routine medical
visits and preventive care resulted in them being stuck with thousands of
dollars in out-of-pocket costs and threats of being turned over to

By the end of the day the Public Authority informed the uion
that it had rescinded it’s recommendation to the Board of Supervisors to change
the health plan.

Congratulations to everyone who fought so hard to ensure
that workers have access to quality health care!

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Hundreds of Homecare Workers and Allies Protest Proposed Detrimental Changes to Healthcare Plan in San Bernardino


San Bernardino, CA (March 10, 2009) – Today, hundreds of homecare workers and community allies turned out to protest proposed changes to the County homecare workers’ health plan.

“As homecare workers we make sure that our County’s seniors and people with disabilities receive the quality care they deserve,” said homecare worker Ola Faumutini.“Now we must fight to protect our healthcare.”

The Public Authority, which represents the County in contract negotiations with County In-Home Supportive Service (IHSS) workers (otherwise known as ‘homecare workers’), is wanting to replace the current health plan offered to workers with one that has less coverage, will cause more out-of-pocket costs for these low-wage workers, and ultimately cost taxpayers money.

“If workers who make only $9.25 an hour are given healthcare with huge out-of-pocket costs they’re not going to use it,” stated homecare worker Beronica Bautista.“Instead, they’ll be forced to return to emergency rooms where there are no out-of-pocket costs to them, but huge costs to the County.In other words, the proposed plan is a bad value for the County!”

Currently there are approximately 1,400 IHSS workers who qualify for health benefits but are on a waiting list due to inadequate funding by the County.The Public Authority claims that by changing the healthcare to a cheaper plan, health benefits will be extended to more homecare providers.Workers disagree – pointing out that if the County took full advantage of available State funding that covers IHSS health benefits (up to sixty cents per hour worked) all qualified workers would be covered with quality benefits. Currently, the County only taps into twenty percent of this available funding.

“Even in our current fiscal crisis, the State is willing to provide the County with sixty cents per hour worked by homecare workers to be placed toward benefits.As of now, San Bernardino County only accepts thirteen cents per hour,” said care provider Carla Eastman.

“You would think that during these difficult economic times the County would want to make sure that any resident who qualifies for healthcare would get quality healthcare so that County facilities are not overburdened by the uninsured,” said Ana Duarte, a homecare worker and member of the union’s bargaining team.“However, the plan that the Public Authority is pushing for would result in more homecare workers using County facilities because we simply cannot afford the costs associated with this plan.”

After protesting at the County Government Center, workers went to each of the Supervisor’s district offices to ensure that their concerns were heard.

SB rally March 10

SB rally March 10
SB rally March 10

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