May 2009

THOUSANDS GATHER IN DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES TO PROTEST DRASTIC CUTS TO STATE’S HOMECARE PROGRAM

THOUSANDS GATHER IN DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES TO PROTEST DRASTIC CUTS TO STATE’S HOMECARE PROGRAM
Crowd sends a clear message to the Governor and Legislators that these cuts must be stopped as they will put lives at risk!

LOS ANGELES, CA (May 22, 2009) – More than 5,000 homecare providers, care recipients, disability and senior advocates joined other concerned Californians today in a rally in front of the California State building in Downtown Los Angeles to speak out against the Governor’s proposed cuts to the state’s homecare program as laid out in his May Revise budget.

Closing down streets, rally participants sent a clear message to Governor Schwarzenegger and Sacramento legislators that cuts to the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program, which delivers care to more than 400,000 seniors and people with disabilities, will not be tolerated.

“Shame on the governor for turning his back on hundreds of thousands of Californians—including the hardworking caregivers who care for our state’s most vulnerable people,” stated Eliseo Medina, Executive Vice President of Service Employees International Union (SEIU). “The governor’s proposed cuts to homecare are cruel and inhumane, forcing workers into poverty and seniors and people with disabilities out of their homes and communities. The governor is wrong and we won’t stand for it.”

Under Governor Schwarzenegger’s recent May Revise budget, homecare worker wages would be slashed to minimum wage ($8.00), essential hours of care would be eliminated, and limitations would be placed on access to the homecare program. Such cuts would place the lives of our parents, grandparents and children with disabilities at risk.

“Cutting a program that saves taxpayers money and brings millions of Federal dollars into the state’s economy simply doesn’t make ‘cents’,” said John Ronches, Trustee of SEIU Local 6434. “The Governor says he wants to save $200 million dollars by cutting IHSS, yet by doing so he is saying NO THANK YOU to nearly $700 million in Federal funds that will be left on the table.”

The IHSS program delivers quality care to those in need while saving California taxpayers millions of dollars annually as the program is approximately eight times less expensive than institutional care. Additionally, the program draws down Federal funding that covers a majority of program costs.

“Cutting the IHSS program doesn’t help California’s financial problems, it only makes things worse,” stated Rob Robbins, a Los Angeles County Homecare Provider. “These cuts not only place hundreds of thousands of lives at risk, they’re fiscally irresponsible and work against the goal of solving our state’s budget problems.”

Today’s rally is the first of many events to take place over the next several weeks to raise awareness of these dangerous cuts and their impact on our most vulnerable residents and those who care for them.

SEIU Local 6434 represent over 174,000 homecare and nursing home workers throughout California.

SEIU Healthcare, United Long-Term Care Workers’ Union is the largest union of long-term care workers in California. The more than 150,000 nursing home and homecare caregivers provide vital care and services to seniors and people with disabilities.
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Thousands Gather in Downtown Los Angeles to Protest Drastic Cuts to State’s Homecare Program

More than 5,000 homecare providers, care recipients, disability and senior advocates joined other concerned Californians today in a rally in front of the California State building in Downtown Los Angeles to speak out against the Governor’s proposed cuts to the state’s homecare program as laid out in his May Revise budget.

Closing down streets, rally participants sent a clear message to Governor Schwarzenegger and Sacramento legislators that cuts to the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program, which delivers care to more than 400,000 seniors and people with disabilities, will not be tolerated.

“Shame on the governor for turning his back on hundreds of thousands of Californians–including the hardworking caregivers who care for our state’s most vulnerable people,” stated Eliseo Medina, Executive Vice President of Service Employees International Union (SEIU). “The governor’s proposed cuts to homecare are cruel and inhumane, forcing workers into poverty and seniors and people with disabilities out of their homes and communities. The governor is wrong and we won’t stand for it.”

Under Governor Schwarzenegger’s recent May Revise budget, homecare worker wages would be slashed to minimum wage ($8.00), essential hours of care would be eliminated, and limitations would be placed on access to the homecare program. Such cuts would place the lives of our parents, grandparents and children with disabilities at risk.

“Cutting a program that saves taxpayers money and brings millions of Federal dollars into the state’s economy simply doesn’t make ‘cents’,” said John Ronches, Trustee of SEIU Local 6434. “The Governor says he wants to save $200 million dollars by cutting IHSS, yet by doing so he is saying NO THANK YOU to nearly $700 million in Federal funds that will be left on the table.”

The IHSS program delivers quality care to those in need while saving California taxpayers millions of dollars annually as the program is approximately eight times less expensive than institutional care. Additionally, the program draws down Federal funding that covers a majority of program costs.

“Cutting the IHSS program doesn’t help California’s financial problems, it only makes things worse,” stated Rob Robbins, a Los Angeles County Homecare Provider. “These cuts not only place hundreds of thousands of lives at risk, they’re fiscally irresponsible and work against the goal of solving our state’s budget problems.”

Today’s rally is the first of many events to take place over the next several weeks to raise awareness of these dangerous cuts and their impact on our most vulnerable residents and those who care for them.

May22rally

May22rally

May22rally

May22rally

May22rally

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Thousands Gather in Downtown Los Angeles to Protest Drastic Cuts to State’s Homecare Program

On Friday, May 22nd, 2009, more than 5,000 homecare providers, care recipients, disability and senior advocates joined other concerned Californians today in a rally in front of the California State building in Downtown Los Angeles to speak out against the Governor’s proposed cuts to the state’s homecare program as laid out in his May Revise budget.

Closing down streets, rally participants sent a clear message to Governor Schwarzenegger and Sacramento legislators that cuts to the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program, which delivers care to more than 400,000 seniors and people with disabilities, will not be tolerated.

“Shame on the governor for turning his back on hundreds of thousands of Californians–including the hardworking caregivers who care for our state’s most vulnerable people,” stated Eliseo Medina, Executive Vice President of Service Employees International Union (SEIU). “The governor’s proposed cuts to homecare are cruel and inhumane, forcing workers into poverty and seniors and people with disabilities out of their homes and communities. The governor is wrong and we won’t stand for it.”

Under Governor Schwarzenegger’s recent May Revise budget, homecare worker wages would be slashed to minimum wage ($8.00), essential hours of care would be eliminated, and limitations would be placed on access to the homecare program. Such cuts would place the lives of our parents, grandparents and children with disabilities at risk.

“Cutting a program that saves taxpayers money and brings millions of Federal dollars into the state’s economy simply doesn’t make ‘cents’,” said John Ronches, Trustee of SEIU Local 6434. “The Governor says he wants to save $200 million dollars by cutting IHSS, yet by doing so he is saying NO THANK YOU to nearly $700 million in Federal funds that will be left on the table.”

The IHSS program delivers quality care to those in need while saving California taxpayers millions of dollars annually as the program is approximately eight times less expensive than institutional care. Additionally, the program draws down Federal funding that covers a majority of program costs.

“Cutting the IHSS program doesn’t help California’s financial problems, it only makes things worse,” stated Rob Robbins, a Los Angeles County Homecare Provider. “These cuts not only place hundreds of thousands of lives at risk, they’re fiscally irresponsible and work against the goal of solving our state’s budget problems.”

Today’s rally is the first of many events to take place over the next several weeks to raise awareness of these dangerous cuts and their impact on our most vulnerable residents and those who care for them.

May22rally

May22rally

May22rally

May22rally

May22rally

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SEIU Financial Services Program

SEIU Financial Services Program

FINANCIAL EDUCATION
Financial education to guide members to the right products and help with broader financial issues. More information available soon.

CREDIT CARD
SEIU is launching a new credit card uniquely designed for our members. This top-quality rewards Visa card eliminates costly fees and helps save money–all while offering a fantastic rewards program. Learn more.
If you are currently a carrier of the AFL-CIO credit card and interested in switching to the purple Visa, email us FinancialBenefits@seiu.org.

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Offers high-quality confidential financial guidance, free consumer credit counseling services, and debt management assistance. Learn more at www.unionplus.org/creditcounseling.
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Obama Administration Rules Against California’s Proposed Wage Cuts to Homecare Workers

LOS ANGELES, CA— In a major victory for California’s 250,000 In-Home Supportive Service (IHSS) workers and the 440,000 seniors and people with disabilities who rely on IHSS for daily care, the Obama Administration has ruled that proposed cuts to the IHSS program violate the terms of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The ruling came after the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and its California affiliates, SEIU UHW and SEIU Local 6434, requested an opinion from Health and Human Services on whether California’s proposed cuts violate the maintenance of effort clause of the ARRA.

Citing a $40 billion budget deficit, the California State Legislature voted as part of its budget to lower its contribution toward homecare worker wages by a staggering 20 percent. The cuts that would lower the State’s contribution from $11.50 to $9.50 per hour are scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2009. However, under the terms of ARRA, states are blocked from reducing funding for existing services.

“The Obama Administration has made it clear that the State cannot cut the homecare workers’ wages. Now we need our counties to follow suit and take all the cuts off the table,” said SEIU Executive Vice President and SEIU UHW Trustee, Eliseo Medina.

“I am grateful that President Obama has taken a stand for us and the vital services we provide to seniors and people with disabilities,” said Michele Reed, a homecare worker and SEIU 6434 member in Los Angeles County.


ARRA has already made available close to $2 billion of the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) promised to California. The funding provides much needed financial assistance for counties struggling with huge budget deficits.

California’s In-Home Supportive Services program provides vital services to many of California’s most vulnerable citizens. The services provided by Homecare workers allow the elderly and people with disabilities to remain safely in their homes, reducing the need for more restrictive and costly institutional care – resulting in more than $1 billion in annual savings to the State of California.

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Keep the pressure on the Legislature to STOP THE CUTS to the IHSS program

Because of the hard work of SEIU and our members, the Obama Administration has declared that the proposed budget cuts to the IHSS program are prohibited.  

This is a vital first step in stopping the cuts to the homecare program.

The next step is getting the State Assembly to pass legislation that removes these cuts from the current budget.  It’s the members of SEIU – the power of purple – that are keeping the pressure on our elected officials!  

Join us on May 22nd at the office of Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, at 12 NOON for a Rally to tell our State Legislators —  We need your vote to Stop Cuts to the IHSS program.

RALLY DETAILS

May 22 – 12 NOON
Assembly Speaker Karen Bass’ Office
300 S. Spring Street – Downtown LA

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