March 2012

Home Care Workers Want Living Wages

Hripsime Tamazyan, our own vice president and executive board member, was able to share her story and the stories of other home care workers with the Glendale paper, Asbarez. Read the excerpt below:

Currently, the largest contract held by the County of Los Angeles is with the Service Employee International Union, United Long Term Care Workers (ULTCW). We are over 120,000 strong and we care for more than 150,000 low-income Los Angeles County seniors and people with disabilities.
I am also vice president of ULTCW and an in-home healthcare provider.

While home care workers care for the lives of others, there are so many that don’t have access to a quality healthcare services. One home care worker I know was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago and while she overcame this terrible disease, she was at a loss when our county health insurance didn’t renew her cancer medication because of a new system put in place. She had to be on the phone for days on end until the matter was resolved, but on that final day, she was out of medication. This is not acceptable. Her life was put in danger.

I know other home care workers who are struggling day after day trying to put food on the table. They make hard choices such as paying their rent or putting gas in their car. Sometimes they can’t afford to buy clothes for their kids. I know of a home care worker who lost her home and is homeless. She is struggling to get by, but each day goes to work to care for the healthcare needs of a senior citizen.

Read the whole article at

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Koch Brothers Exposed

On March 29th, the World Premiere of the Koch Brothers Exposed documentary by Brave New Films will be held in New York City, just a few miles from one of the Kochs many homes. However, instead of keeping this film in the theatres, Brave New Films is making it available immediately on DVD (Get it now!) with an Action Guide so that you can watch with family and friends then do something to make a difference.

The Koch brothers, who own and operate Koch Industries, bring in an estimated hundred billion dollars per year and take advantage of tax loopholes. In fact, the Koch brothers embody the 1% and are part of the largest opposition to any changes that would benefit the average American. That's why we partenered with Brave New Films to be a part of this movement and show billionaires like the Koch's that we're not backing down. 

2012 is our year, our time to win a future for working families and the 99%. This documentary and Action Guide are a perfect way to help us make sure that the 1% isn't controlling our democracy or making it harder for many of us to achieve the American Dream. Take a moment to get the DVD now and start planning viewing parties within your communities. For every DVD that is sold through ULTCW, Brave New Films will give the Elinor Scholarship Fund $5–another way to invest in our future. 

The DVD features expert interviews, investigative exposés, and extras about what these billionaire brothers are doing to our democracy. After you get the DVD please download the Action Guide which has been created with partners Greenpeace, Campaign for America’s Future, NAACP, Democracy for America and Advancement Project.

We are up against a mega-rich foe with an elitist attitude. Charles Koch is credited as saying, “I just want my fair share, and that’s all of it”. We need your help to combat these billionaires actions. Sign up to hold a film screening in your home, a local church, library or community center. After watching, we encourage you to discuss the film with your family and friends then look through the Action Guide to decide on which actions you can agree to do. With your help we can start educating our communities and make real change happen in 2012.

5 Simple Steps:

1. Get the Koch Brothers Exposed DVD

2. Organize a screening in your home, a local church, library, or a community center  

3. Register your screening at:

4. Invite friends, family and community members to your screening

5. Download the free Action Guide and poster at


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We’re Moving!

We’re excited to announce that SEIU United Long Term Care Workers (ULTCW) is moving its main Los Angeles office to a new building. As of Tuesday, March 27th we will officially be in our new offices at 2910 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90057 just down the street from where we are now. Our new building is located between Occidental Boulevard and Reno Street.

Parking/Transportation: Access to parking is on Occidental and to visit us via public transportation you can take the 14 and 37 bus lines.

Please note that ALL other contact information remains the same, including email addresses and phone numbers. We look forward to seeing you there! (Click on the image below to print a copy for your records)

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Who Will Care for Our Caregivers?

Vice president and LA contract committee member, Julie Chow, outlines the harsh realities that caregivers face in LA county in a recent article in The Frying Pan, an online news source. Read the excerpt below:

In a soon-to-be released report, the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research states, “Paid caregivers caring for recipients of Medi-Cal fare the worst in monthly income, job stability, home ownership, health insurance coverage, delays in obtaining medical care and food security. Data from the 2009 California Health Interview Survey suggest that paid Medi-Cal caregivers face hidden costs and are at risk for continued economic uncertainty.”

As a caregiver for over 10 years, and as part of my union’s Los Angeles contract committee, I can tell you that the statement above is more than accurate. We’ve heard from hundreds of our caregivers — their top concerns are job/wage security and access to quality health care. So, as we continue to negotiate with Los Angeles County, these are two of our top priorities.

We recognize that this economy has affected more than just ourselves; we see it in our neighbors, at our churches and all around our communities. As we prepared for negotiations we sought out a solution that would not only uplift caregivers from $9 per hour up to a living wage of $9.65 and provide them with access to quality health care, but also bring millions of dollars into our local communities. Our work with Beacon Economics confirms that the 65-cent increase will boost economic output in Los Angeles County by $99.8 million and generate more than 700 new jobs.

Read the whole article at:

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March 13th, 2012
Contact: Sura Hart (213) 361-7064

LOS ANGELES, CA –SEIU United Long Term Care Workers (ULTCW) is a proud sponsor of the American Diabetes Association Diabetes Expo, which will be held this Saturday, March, 17th, which will provide education and information on how to better manage or prevent this disease and live healthier, active lives.

“We know that communities of color and especially the elderly are disproportionately affected by diabetes,” says Laphonza Butler, President of SEIU United Long Term Care Workers (ULTCW). “Many of our caregivers are on the frontlines in preventing this disease which affects 23.6 million people in the US. We are joining the American Diabetes Association on Saturday to ensure our communities know how to manage and prevent this debilitating illness.”

As a sponsor of the American Diabetes Association Expo, ULTCW will be a part of the Faces of Diabetes Pavilion and also have a booth on the main floor. ULTCW will be giving away a “Know Your Foods’ Sugar Levels” pocket guide to help residents understand the relationship between foods and glucose.
The day-long event will feature physicians, registered nurses, registered diabetes educators and other healthcare professionals who will provide complimentary health screenings at the event. These include diabetes risk assessments, dental screenings, and cholesterol and blood pressure tests. There will also be cooking demonstrations and leading experts talking about diabetes management and prevention.

Date: Saturday, March 17th 2012
Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: Los Angeles Convention Center, West Hall A
1201 S. Figueroa St. Los Angeles, CA 90015

For more information, call 1-888-DIABETES (342-2383)

SEIU United Long Term Care Workers (ULTCW) is California’s leading long term care organization representing 180,000 workers dedicated to providing and protecting quality care for some of our most vulnerable residents.



L.A. Labor Joins March from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama

The LA County Federation of Labor recently posted a great article on Labor’s involvement in the Selma to Montgomery march.

Last week, voting rights, immigrants’ rights and labor supporters from around the U.S. joined hundreds of Alabamans to reinact the historic 1965 voting and civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery. Nearly 47 years ago, civil rights activists were attacked on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama by armed officers as they marched for racial equality. That day became known as Bloody Sunday and the march has been recreated in following years.

This year, over 1000 people marched for five days to bring attention to present-day civil rights struggles – the growing legislative attacks on voting rights, immigrants and Latinos, and workers’ rights occuring in states across the U.S. including Alabama. Maria Elena Durazo, head of L.A. Labor, participated with more than 40 L.A. union workers and leaders from SEIU-ULTCW, including President Laphonza Butler, SEIU Local 721, including Vice President Linda Dent, and electricians from IBEW Local 11.

Read the whole article at:

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A Living Wage: Making a Difference for Caregivers

Our own member, Michele Reed, recently had the opportunity to tell her story to The Frying Pan, an online news source. Within her story she outlines the need for a living wage for home care workers. Read the excerpt below:

To me, this [being a home care worker] was the right job to take – to care for others who couldn’t care for themselves and who didn’t have family to help them. Although I love what I do, my commitment to caregiving leaves me making only $9 an hour. While that’s higher when compared to the years I worked for less than $4 per hour, it’s still not enough; it’s still not a living wage.

As a mother with three children and four grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don’t want to give them more than I can. My children are struggling to get good jobs in this economy and I wish I could help.

I can’t tell you enough how much every cent counts, how much a living wage would mean to me and my family and all the families of caregivers like myself. I know the work they do and I know how hard it is.

Read the whole article at:

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Our March For Justice: Amelia Boynton-Robinson (Day 4)

In honor of International Women’s Day, we would like to highlight a very special woman who has been marching with us for the last few days.

In fact, we were blessed with the presence of a National Civil Rights treasure, Ms. Amelia Boynton Robinson. At 101 years young, she spoke eloquently to all the marchers today, in front of Selma’s Southside High school. This was the midpoint of the day’s march but a true highlight for all of us.

Mother Robinson, as she is affectionately known as, is one of the Courageous Eight who inspired and ignited the Selma to Montgomery Marches that started in 1965. The Courageous Eight were responsible for the direct involvment of Dr. King in leading the marchers to Montgomery from Selma. Ms. Robinson often hosted Dr. King at her home and business as they organized the final Selma to Montgomery marches after the infamous “Bloody Sunday” on March 7, 1965. Robinson is perhaps best known for being one of the visible victims of State Troopers, beaten, gassed and left for dead on the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

Ms. Robinson and the others in the Courageous Eight were marching for voting rights back in 1965, but after the violent backlash they received from State Troopers it became abundantly clear that they were marching for much more.

The over 300 marchers today honored the struggle of those unsung heroes like Ms. Robinson and the rest of the Courageous Eight for paving the way for the Voting Rights Act and our future as a nation. We are honored to have a woman like her at the front-line of the fight for social and economic justice in 2012. She is a true inspiration!

Thank you Ms. Boynton-Robinson

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Our March for Justice: Day 3

Here I am with Pastor Rob and SEIU President Mary Kay Henry

Today, I was so excited to be able to participate in the Selma to Montgomery march reliving a moment in history that has been such a huge part of the African American experience. I am even more grateful to be sharing this moment with so many people of all various backgrounds as we marched for worker and voter rights.

I was tweeting all day! I walked for eleven miles

I spoke with 101 year old Dr. Amelia Boynton Robinson. What an inspiration!

alongside ULTCW’s President, Laphonza Butler, Rev. Al Sharpton, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry and even, R&B singer Tyrese.

But I was most taken away by meeting 101 year old Dr. Amelia Boynton Robinson, a civil right hero who was beaten in the 1965 Selma march. What an inspiring lady!

It was very exciting and I feel honored to join my brothers and sisters in the fight for social and economic justice. Looking forward to the next few days!

Follow the conversation on Twitter @seiuULTCW, @UnionShelly, #Selma2012

Some of my photos of today:

Here is ULTCW President Laphonza Butler with SEIU Exec. VP Gerry Hudson and Dr. Toni Lewis.

Here is Reverend Al with some of my brothers and sisters!

Here is Jesse Jackson with some of my brothers and sisters!

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La Puente Woman and Her Disabled Mother Now Face Criminal Charges For Protesting Foreclosure of Her Home

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tracie Morales at (951) 520-7039 or
Terence Long at (323) 646-5875 or
Scott Mann at (323) 333-4850 or

PASADENA, CA – Rose Mary Gudiel stood up to OneWest Bank and Fannie Mae to save her La Puente home, but now she faces another challenge: criminal charges for engaging in a peaceful sit-in at Fannie Mae.
“When the bank tried to take my house and refused to even talk to me, I took a stand to show how unfairly they treat homeowners like me,” said Gudiel. “Now I’m being treated like a criminal for trying to save my home.”

Despite the fact that Rose Mary’s actions forced the mortgage giant to admit they were wrong and renegotiate her mortgage, the Pasadena City Attorney’s office is refusing to dismiss misdemeanor charges against Rose and eight others, including her 63-year-old disabled mother.

Rose Mary Gudiel is a California public employee who faced eviction last fall because of a two-week delayed payment at a time when her brother was shot and killed. When her mortgage holder and servicer refused to accept payments for two years and pushed her into foreclosure, Rose Mary became the focus of a week of protests. Gudiel and eight others were arrested in October after occupying Fannie Mae offices in Pasadena.
Hours after being released from custody, OneWest Bank called Rose Mary on behalf of Fannie Mae and asked to meet that afternoon to negotiate a loan modification. Eventually the foreclosure was reversed and Rose Mary has resumed making mortgage payments on her home.

“We proved that the bank was acting wrong, not me. I only wish the Pasadena City Attorney would see the situation from our side,” said Gudiel.

On Thursday, March 8, a hearing to determine a possible trial date will be held at the Pasadena Courthouse.

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