June 2010

Centinela East and West Nursing Home Workers Vote YES For ULTCW

On Monday, June 28th, the direct care units of Centinela East and West nursing facilities voted overwhelmingly to join SEIU ULTCW, the United Long Term Care Workers’ Union.  This latest victory welcomes 82 new members into ULTCW.

“We’re extremely excited to be a part of SEIU ULTCW,” said April Morris a certified nursing assistant at Centinela East.  “Voting Yes was the only option in my mind.”

“We’ve heard what SEIU ULTCW has been able to do for other nursing home workers and couldn’t wait to be a part of it,” said Morris Rivers, a certified nursing assistant at Centinela West.  “Having a strong unified voice at work is essential for both workers and our residents.”

SEIU ULTCW, the largest union in California, is dedicated solely to representing 178,000 long term care workers throughout the state.

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New additions to the SEIU-ULTCW family: Morris Rivers, Kieshima Green, Jamila Ramzy and Shaneetha Glenn, at Centinela  West.

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New SEIU-ULTCW member April Morris, at Centinela East

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Browse the ‘Healthy at Home’ Booklet

The faces, voices and economic facts of California In-Home Care

The booklet below, “Healthy at Home” is a collection of quotes, pictures and statistics that illustrate the human face of In-Home Care in California.

  • To see it fullscreen, click the “Fullscreen” button below
  • To download a PDF version, click the “Download” button below
  • If you’d like us to mail you a printed copy at no charge, please click here.

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Members Help Force Likely Runoff in Key State Senate Race

Dem. Assemblyman John Laird with a ULTCW member and clientULTCW members played an important role in keeping a republican challenger from claiming outright victory in a key State Senate race whose outcome may have huge implications for the future of long term care in California.

And although the race ended inconclusively and will require an run-off in August, the closeness of the outcome left no doubt that ULTCW support was essential in denying victory to the republican.

The race yesterday pitted former democratic assemblyman John Laird against republican assemblyman Sam Blakeslee in a special election for the seat of republican senator Abel Maldonado. (Maldonado is vacating the office to become Lieutenant Governor.) This is a crucial race for both sides, because if democrat Laird wins, it will put the democrats within one seat of having the 2/3 majority in the state senate necessary to pass legislation over republican objections. With such a majority, democrats could pass spending bills for, among other things, programs like In-Home Supportive Services.

Blakeslee ended the election night with a larger share of the vote than Laird (49.7 percent to 41.2 percent), but the republican did not garner a 50% majority vote necessary to take the seat outright. As a result there will likely be a runoff race in August with the same challengers facing off against one another.

Read more about the election and the stakes involved here and here.

Sixteen ULTCW members volunteered with the Laird campaign, participating in election day canvassing and phone banking. Those volunteers contributed the largest union delegation in his campaign by far, and representatives from Laird’s office said the the candidate was extremely grateful for their help — especially that of 12 ULTCW Spanish-speakers who helped turn out the Latino vote.

In addition to the election day activities, ULTCW staff and members in Los Angeles, San Bernadino, and Watsonville participated in a phone bank program that touched all the registered voters in the senate district twice prior to the election and resulted in a large uptick in election-day voters.

At the end of election night, Blakeslee came only 328 votes shy of the 50% majority he would have needed to win. ULTCW members without a doubt turned out more than that number of voters to the polls, so there’s no doubt that ULTCW members played a key role in keeping Laird’s hopes alive for an August win.

Should Laird win in the August 17th runoff election, it would be the first time in 10 years that a democrat overtook a solidly republican seat.

A special thanks to ULTCW staff members Erik Larsen and Kiya Stokes, who both spent a great deal of time and energy in support of this campaign.

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(Former assemblyman and current state senate candidate John Laird poses with ULTCW staff and members on Election Day, June 22nd.)

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Members Lead “Street Briefing” Against Budget Cuts at Federal Appeals Court

san fran caption2(San Francisco) June 15, 2010 – Over 100 SEIU-ULTCW members today joined seniors, people with disabilities and other caregivers in front of the San Francisco Federal Courthouse to continue the legal fight to protect safe, quality home care as the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals prepared to hear arguments in the case of Oster v. Wager.

The hearing comes after the State of California appealed federal circuit court Judge Claudia Wilken’s order that stopped the state’s 2009 budget cuts that would reduce or eliminate in-home care hours.

See more pictures here and here

Read more coverage of the event (including quotes from ULTCW care giver Wendy Ko and recipient Michelle Roussy)

Prior to the hearing, ULTCW members and those in attendance put a face on this important issue by carrying large photos of those whose lives would be impacted if such cuts were to take place. 

Speaking on behalf of in-home caregivers throughout California, SEIU-ULTCW member Wendy Ko addressed the crowd saying “The Courts were right before: home care cuts are illegal, immoral, and illogical.  The state is wrong to appeal Judge Wilken’s decision to halt the cuts that would place 120,000 seniors and people with disabilities at risk.”

The panel of judges that heard the appeal is expected to make a decision in the coming weeks.

(Read a blog posted by an IHSS consumer on the scene)

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ULTCW Volunteers Help Candidates Win Big in Primary Elections

The June 8th primary election was a key part of building a California legislature that truly understands, respects and values the hard work that our members do to ensure the safety of our seniors and people with disabilities.  As usual, SEIU-ULTCW members stepped up to play a major role in helping our endorsed candidates win the primary.  Of the races that took place up and down the state, our members were exceptionally active in 10 key campaigns — of which all but one candidate won!

The next step in our fight to protect the future of long term care and ultimately secure dedicated funding for vital programs like In-Home Care will come in November when we all return to the ballot box for the general election.  Leading up to that date, our union and its members will continue to work to elect candidates like Jerry Brown (for Governor) and Kamala Harris (for Attorney General) who are committed to caregivers, those we care for, and our vision for the future.

Congratulations to all SEIU ULTCW members for the active role we held in the June 8th primary.  Here’s to carrying on this success in November.

Below are the candidates in whose campaigns SEIU-ULTCW members played an active role:

Attorney General: Kamala Harris (won)
Senate District 26: Curren Price (won)
Assembly District 20: Bob Wiekowski  (won)
Assembly District 28: Luis Alejo (won)
Assembly District 35: Das Williams (won)
Assembly District 36: Linda Jones (won)
Assembly District 43: Mike Gatto (won)
Assembly District 47: Reggie Jones Sawyer (lost)
Assembly District 50: Ricardo Lara (won)
Assembly District 59: Darcel Woods (won)

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June Calendar of Events Online

Check out all the events and goings-on in your area this month! (If the below file isn’t loading, check it out here.)

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Mendocino County Members Featured in Ukiah Newspaper

The Ukiah Daily Journal ran an article on Mendocino SEIU and ULTCW members protesting against proposed county budget cut. Here’s a member quoted in the article.

“I’m upset with the board for not listening to us,” IHSS worker Cerre Ortega said. “They need to know that a 5 percent cut in pay really does affect us … we understand that there is a crisis, but try and make it work for everyone.”

Read the article on SEIU and ULTCW members protesting budget cuts.

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Mendocino County Members Featured in Ukiah Newspaper

Mendocino SEIU and ULTCW members got featured in the Ukiah Daily Journal for their protest against proposed county budget cut. Here’s a member quoted in the article.

“I’m upset with the board for not listening to
us,” IHSS worker Cerre Ortega said. “They need to know that a 5 percent
cut in pay really does affect us … we understand that there is a
crisis, but try and make it work for everyone.”

Read the article on SEIU and ULTCW members protesting budget cuts.

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ULTCW Voter Guide Released

At this crucial time in California’s history, we have the chance to elect a team of leaders who can help us rebuild California and protect long term care.

We created the below voter guide to help you make informed decisions when you go to the ballot box on June 8th. (Find your voting location)

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