July 2011

SEIU ULTCW Santa Cruz Home Care Workers Demand No More Cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Home Care Wages

Santa Cruz, CA – Santa Cruz County home care workers have had enough of the continued attacks by Congress and local leadership on working families. For almost a year now, home care workers who provide invaluable care to seniors and the disabled have been working without a contract and with reduced hours.

Now, as debt ceiling negotiations in Washington create bitter and divisive lines amongst our elected officials, Congress is proposing drastic cuts to Medicare and Medicaid which would critically impact services to the most needy in our communities. Locally, the Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors has proposed a 10% cut in wages for home care works in addition to the 3.6% reduction in hours earlier this year.

These actions threaten the safety and well-being of thousands of seniors and disabled people in the county as well as jeopardize the livelihood of countless home care workers who have already taken a reduction in pay.

Home care workers are saying ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

On Thursday, July 28th at 5:00 p.m., Santa Cruz County home care workers will gather at the corner of Main and Beach Streets in Watsonville to protest the proposed congressional cuts to Medicare and Medicaid and the Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors plan to cut home care wages by 10%. Join us in sending a clear message to Congress and Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors — NO MORE CUTS!

WHO: SEIU ULTCW Santa Cruz home care workers.
WHAT: Protest against Congressional cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors proposed 10% cuts to home care wages.
WHEN: Thursday July 28, 5:00 p.m.
WHERE: Main and Beach Streets, Corner of “Watsonville Plaza.”

SEIU United Long Term Care Workers is the largest union of long-term care workers in California, and the second largest local in the nation, representing 180,000 homecare workers in California. Follow us on Twitter: @SEIUULTCW

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Laphonza Butler: The Debt Ceiling vs. the Job Ceiling

Brothers and Sisters,

We have exciting news to share! Our President, Laphonza Butler was just published on the Huffington Post Los Angeles with an op-ed on the debt ceiling and the need for Good Jobs in South LA.

With the unemployment rate for African-Americans at 19% and Latinos at 14% in Los Angeles County alone, President Butler is calling on all of us to use this August Recess to engage members of Congress and let our voices be heard on issues that matter to us.

“It is an outrage that attempts to protect tax cuts for the rich are being made on the backs of working families. And it is un-American that the continued cuts to services for the poor and the unrelenting marginalization of working families are affecting African Americans and Latinos disproportionally.”– Laphonza Butler, Read the whole article

I urge you to take a moment to read, comment on the site and share with your networks via Twitter, Facebook, Google + and good ol’ fashion email. We want to direct a lot of readership to this article so that our voice makes a vital impact to the debate. This is very important.

Click here to read the article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laphonza-butler/job-ceiling-in-south-los-angeles_b_910419.html

Together, we can all make a difference; it’s time we took the debate online.

In solidarity,

Wyatt Closs
Public Affairs Director

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Santa Cruz Sentinel: It takes a wage of $33.27 to live in Santa Cruz County

The Santa Cruz Sentinel just released an incredible article on the true cost of living and homeless crisis facing Santa Cruz county. Here is an excerpt from the article,

Mary Lou Goeke, executive director of the United Way of Santa Cruz County, attributes the spike in homeless youth to stiff competition for entry-level jobs on top of “sky-high rents.”

“There is great difficulty finding jobs at the bottom of the employment ladder,” Goeke said. “People with skills and degrees are competing for the entry-level jobs. It’s very hard to get jobs.”

In addition to the county’s 11.5 percent unemployment rate, the price of monthly rents are among the highest in the nation.

In the county, a full-time worker must earn $33.27 per hour to afford a modest two-bedroom rental, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, which released its “Out of Reach 2011” in May.

“It’s just so very, very difficult to find housing, especially affordable housing,” Goeke said. “The waiting list for Section 8 housing is long. Thousands are on the waiting list here. That’s really the driver for homelessness — affordable housing.”

The county’s homeless population is counted every two years so that social service providers, such as the United Way, has a better understanding of who they’re serving and what specific programs are needed.
http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_18554141

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CALL NOW: Tell Congress to stand strong against cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security

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Good Times Santa Cruz: Letter to the editor Money, Money, Money

Santa Cruz home care worker, Barri Boone, writes a very straight-forward letter to the editor in this weeks Goodtimes. Read the excerpt below or click the link and scroll through to Money, Money, Money.

Kristof recently explained that hedge fund CEO’s make a “performance bonus” of 20 precent or more. (Totaling millions for them annually.) That’s a great idea, especially for the underpaid service workers doing homecare for seniors and the disabled. Our “performance” can include lifting the disabled out of bed, driving seniors to the doctors and waiting for unpaid hours, and fighting the pharmacies in order to get their medications, hoping to reduce their pain.

I’m not exactly sure how we can get our 20 percent while we are fighting to not get cut 10 percent, because our supervisors can only pay a “living wage” of $14.83 in Santa Cruz—theoretically. (In reality, we get $11.50 which they want to cut to $10.35 so we can “share the pain” with the supervisors who make more than $100,000 a year.)

So, should I take 20 percent of my client’s SSI of $830 monthy income, or should I just steal 20 percent of his artwork and clothing, or cut off 20 percent of his organs and try to sell them on eBay?
I’m so happy to get some hints about how to get my part of the “American Dream!”

Barri Boone,
Homecare Worker
Capitola

Read online at www.goodtimessantacruz.com

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LA Times: Chaos clouds Compton’s fate

After reversing course several times, City Council apparently OKs a budget that cuts about 90 jobs to avert a civic shutdown.

This LA Times article dives into the need for more good jobs in LA and the sad fate that Compton’s City Council just made true. The excerpt:

After a chaotic meeting full of reversals, the Compton City Council late Tuesday apparently moved to approve dozens of layoffs to avert a potential government shutdown.

The council, acting as the redevelopment commission, voted 3 to 2 to approve a budget that will eliminate about 90 jobs, then went into closed session — leaving the final council vote up in the air.

It was unclear whether the council realized a final vote had not been cast.

The apparent approval of the budget will avert a potential government shutdown, but the city faces lawsuits from employees’ unions and individual workers over the process.

City employees in attendance were stunned.

“Actually, we don’t know what budget they just adopted,” said Tony Branson, a Compton Fire Department captain and president of the firefighters’ union. “I don’t think it was fair, and I don’t think it was legal.”

www.latimes.com

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Submit your question now for tonight’s town hall with President Mary Kay Henry




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Hollister home care workers turnout for Sam Farr town hall

On Monday, July 18th, Central Coast home care workers and community supporters held a town hall at the office of Congressman Sam Farr. Holding signs and shaking cow bells, 20 home care workers from Hollister, California showed up to send a message to Congressman Sam Farr: The wealthy should pay their fair share and put our communities back to work by creating good jobs and keeping our fair wages, no more cuts to Medicare or Social Security.

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National Workforce Network 7/14 Broadcast

The latest edition of the National Workforce News just went live. Highlights include:

  • SEIU members lead the charge to recall anti-union lawmakers in Wisconsin that voted to end collective bargaining.
  • Members are going door-to-door in Minnesota to talk to voters about the impact of the state’s unprecedented shutdown.
  • Lawmakers get an earful from working families on the pitfalls of the economic climate.
  • Plus, we’ll show you how SEIU members are saving “man’s best friend” during the economic downturn.

Want more National Workforce Network? Follow this link http://nationalworkforcenetwork.tv to see the latest broadcasts and news!

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Good Jobs LA video

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