February 2012

IHSS Timesheets

Comments Off on IHSS Timesheets

Caregivers and Consumers Join Hundreds at State Capital

Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg addresses the crowd

Today, ULTCW members and those for whom they provide care along with hundreds of other caregivers, care-recipients, long-term care advocates and supporters were joined today by Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez and Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg in Sacramento. The group called for policy solutions to strengthen and stabilize the state’s home care system and provide better care for California’s aging population.

Tina James, an IHSS recipient, stated, “Strengthening our home care system is not only important for current caregivers and consumers like me, but for ensuring that those who need quality care in the future will have access to it. That’s exactly what this plan will do.”

Today’s event focused a legislative effort led by Pérez and Steinberg to strengthen California’s home care system, and focuses on constructing a robust, deliberative process that ensures involvement from all stakeholders. Later, members from ULTCW along with members of UHW and UDW moved to lobby representatives of their respective areas for additional support.

Tina James with her caregiver, Louis James, in front of the State Capitol building.

Highlights of the bill focus on the need to preserve the principle of consumer-directed care, provide access to training and professional development for providers, and ensure that care is coordinated to better manage chronic conditions and preventive health needs. The result of passing this bill will be a more efficient home care system that minimizes nursing home stays, emergency room visits and hospitalization—all of which save the state money.

“We know our loved ones would rather be cared for in their own homes by providers who want to see them stay healthy. Yet our current in-home care system is set up in a way that puts it on the budget chopping block year after year – despite the long-term savings and job creation it provides to the state. Our families and the state deserve better,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg. “The first step to stabilizing the system is to integrate it into the long term care continuum.”

Among the hundreds participating in today’s rally were home care consumers and members of SEIU United Long Term Care Workers, SEIU United Healthcare Workers West, SEIU Local 521, UDW Homecare Providers Union/AFSCME Local 3930, and California United Health Care Workers SEIU/AFSCME Local 4034. Combined, the coalition represents over 360,000 in-home care providers.

Learn more about this legislation and how you can add your voice to the movement by going to: http://letsgethealthyathome.org/

Comments Off on Caregivers and Consumers Join Hundreds at State Capital

Pérez and Steinberg join Hundreds at Capitol, Call for Strengthened Home Care, Improved Health Outcomes Hundreds of Seniors, People with Disabilities, and Care Providers Speak on Need to Stabilize State’s Home Care System

LET’S GET HEALTHY AT HOME!
SEIU, UDW, CUHW

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 28, 2012
Contact: Michael Cox (916) 799-6784

Sacramento, CA – Hundreds of seniors, people with disabilities, and the care providers who are dedicated to helping them stay healthy at home were joined today by Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez and Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg as they called for policy solutions to strengthen and stabilize the state’s home care system and provide better care for California’s aging population.

“We know our loved ones would rather be cared for in their own homes by providers who want to see them stay healthy. Yet our current in-home care system is set up in a way that puts it on the budget chopping block year after year – despite the long-term savings and job creation it provides to the state. Our families and the state deserve better,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg. “The first step to stabilizing the system is to integrate it into the long term care continuum.”

“We have worked hard to preserve In Home Supportive Services for the thousands of Californians with debilitating medical conditions who rely on the support from IHSS caregivers to ensure they can live independently, at lower cost to the tax payers,” said Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez. “Without the support provided by IHSS caregivers, these Californians would be forced into institutionalized care, at far greater cost to the taxpayers.”

Pérez and Steinberg will lead the legislative effort to strengthen California’s home care system, and expressed their desire to construct a robust, deliberative process that ensures involvement from all stakeholders.

“We agree with the need to integrate long term services and supports. It has been one of our top goals for years because we want a structure that creates strong financial incentives for supporting care in the home rather than care in an institution,” said Gary Passmore, Director of the Congress of California Seniors, which represents more than 200,000 seniors in our state. “We will work with all stakeholders and with the legislative leadership to get this right.”

Today’s rally focused on the need to preserve the principle of consumer-directed care, provide access to training and professional development for providers, and to ensure that care is coordinated to better manage chronic conditions and preventive health needs. The result will be a more efficient system that minimizes nursing home stays, emergency room visits and hospitalization.

“Home care workers take care of medication reminders, nutrition, and hygiene, preventing chronic conditions from getting worse,” said Bill Lehr, an in-home care provider from Fresno County. “The health care system and the home care system should work together so I can help my consumer stay healthy and avoid life-threatening, costly complications.”

Among the hundreds participating in today’s rally were home care consumers and members of SEIU United Long Term Care Workers, SEIU United Healthcare Workers West, SEIU Local 521, UDW Homecare Providers Union/AFSCME Local 3930, and California United Health Care Workers SEIU/AFSCME Local 4034. Combined, the coalition represents over 360,000 in-home care providers.

###

Comments Off on Pérez and Steinberg join Hundreds at Capitol, Call for Strengthened Home Care, Improved Health Outcomes Hundreds of Seniors, People with Disabilities, and Care Providers Speak on Need to Stabilize State’s Home Care System

LA Celebrates the Year of the Dragon

On Friday, February 17th, 2012, over 300 SEIU United Long Term Care Workers (ULTCW) members and supporters gathered at the New Capitol Seafood Restaurant in San Gabriel for an evening of celebration. ULTCW members were invited based on their activism throughout 2011 and were joined by representatives from several political offices. Special Guests included Ed Chau, Mike Eng, Polly Lo, Derek Ma, Jay Chen, Henry Lo, David Lau and the staff of Judy Chu.

ULTCW members were honored for their work and dedication to providing life-line services to California’s elderly and disabled citizens by Mike Eng, Polly Lo and Judy Chu. Other elected representatives spoke to the importance of the work we do and committed to to the fight for a living wage for home care workers in LA county.

Attendees enjoyed a 5-course Chinese dinner, followed by a traditional Chinese dance performance from our own members and we ended the night with karaoke.

Check out the photos from the event in the slide-show below:

Comments Off on LA Celebrates the Year of the Dragon

Our Testimony Against Cuts

Just yesterday, ULTCW members and their clients joined over 150 other long-term care advocates at the State Capitol to urge elected officials to protect California’s most vulnerable citizens by stopping cuts to in-home care.

Governor Brown has currently proposed cutting funding to the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program by 20% and also eliminating the hours for essential domestic services. Such cuts would result in hundreds of thousands of vital care hours being eliminated.

While Judge Claudia Wilkinson has temporarily halted the 20% cut through a preliminary injunction, long term care providers and care recipients are hoping to address a more permanent solution. The IHSS program has been on the chopping block year after year, causing fear and stress to those that depend on the program most.

Hattie Jackson, a recipient of in-home care, through the IHSS program, and at risk of these cuts stated, “I was a nurse for most my life and spent 30 years taking care of others. Now I deserve the same quality of care and that cares comes from home. We can’t let these cuts happen!”

ULTCW members and their care recipients had discussions with 15 California State Senate members – giving testimony to the detriment these cuts would have on the wellbeing of more than 400,000 low-income elderly and disabled California residents.

The group was comprised of long term care providers from throughout the state of California, including members of SEIU United Long Term Care Workers (ULTCW), SEIU United Health Care West (UHW), SEIU 521, UDW and CUHW. Many of the members were also accompanied by their elderly and/or disabled clients; many of whose lives would be in danger if the cuts went into effect.

SEIU ULTCW is dedicated to working with legislators to find solutions that will protect the State’s long term care program for today’s recipients and the growing number in the years to come.

Sign-up for SEIU ULTCW email alerts for more updates and ways to get involved!

Comments Off on Our Testimony Against Cuts

Oakland Members Celebrate The Chinese New Year

On February 10, Northern California (Region 5) member activists came together to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Each one had received an invitation in recognition of activism throughout 2011 and over 280 made it out on Friday for the event.

ULTCW members were joined by guests from our sister local SEIU United Healthcare West, as well as, representatives from several political offices. Special Guests included Josie Camacho, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Alameda Labor Council to talk about our work for the coming months. Katie Quan, Director of the UC Berkeley Labor Center, was also in attendance and gave a powerful presentation about the role of Chinese workers and Chinese labor organizing in California over the past 150 years. The presentation highlighted the important contribution of home care workers to that history, and their needed contribution to help win economic and social justice in the years to come.

Entertainment was provided by our own union members who dressed in elegant Chinese costumes and sang and danced to traditional and contemporary Chinese music.

Check out the photos below:

Comments Off on Oakland Members Celebrate The Chinese New Year

Kamala Harris Wins Big For Families in Foreclosure

Kamala Harris ULTCWOn Thursday, the news broke that California Attorney General Kamala Harris negotiated a major win for Californians currently facing foreclosure.

Out of the $25 billion foreclosure settlement led by a large group of states’ attorney generals, California will be receiving the biggest chunk – $12 billion.

While most states negotiated a lower amount, Attorney General Harris would not concede to a number that was not representative of the harm done to the people of California.

Often referred to as “ground-zero” for foreclosures, the Golden State has seen an estimated 1.2 million home foreclosures since 2008, with an additional 800,000 home foreclosure notices to be sent to homes by 2012 according to a report by the RE-Fund California Campaign. In addition, it is now proven that communities of color were unfairly targeted with subprime loans.

For example, Rose Gudiel, a SEIU United Long Term Care Workers (ULTCW) member fought hard and recently won her case against Fannie Mae who tried to foreclose on her home. But it took the effort of ULTCW and other community groups to occupy the lobby of the Fannie Mae building in Pasadena and even get arrested for Fannie Mae to work with Rose and her family.

“We are extremely proud of our Attorney General,” said Laphonza Butler, President of SEIU ULTCW. “She campaigned on being a leader for working people, she walked in the shoes of one of our members, and with this unprecedented win against foreclosures, she has proven to be a fighter for the needs of Californians.”

Elected in 2010, SEIU ULTCW was the first local union to endorse and support Ms. Harris. In addition; ULTCW was the first local to send members to help count ballots during the recount.

For workers in long term care, there is much at state at the local, state and federal levels. This giant win for California is a direct result of ULTCW’s commitment to elect candidates who share our values and have the courage to care to make decisions that help working families.

You can read more about this victory for all Californians HERE.

Comments Off on Kamala Harris Wins Big For Families in Foreclosure