February 2015

Nursing Home Members Win Big in Longwood Settlement!


After almost 8 months of bargaining the Longwood bargaining committee reached a settlement with their employer. Thank you to SEIU ULTCW nursing home and home care workers for all of their work and effort, in particular the Longwood team who have been indefatigable in this fight. A special thanks to our Secretary Treasurer Kim Evon who came to every action these workers held.

Thank you to all of you who tool part in this fight as members, families, staff, elected officials, etc. in support of the many actions that took place leading up to this victory. This is a huge win for workers and puts us one step closer to our Dignity goals and winning on behalf of long term care workers across the State. Below are the highlights to the settlement and a photo of our President Laphonza Butler who came in to congratulate them on their win.


SEIU-ULTCW Contract Summary for Longwood Members

February 18, 2015

*Settlement of the outstanding litigation for past Ed Fund contributions

  1. Recognition– Laurel will be added to the Longwood Master Agreement when the Laurel contract expires on June 16, 2015.

2. Management rights

  • Employer cannot unilaterally change pay practices
  • Handbook applies but in conflict with contract, contract governs
  • Union can file a grievance if a handbook provision violates contract
  1. Union Shop
  • Employer will distribute union membership packet and all employees must become a member, fee payer or religious objector within 30 days of being hired
  1. Union Visitation
  • Union rep will check in upon arrival to the facility
  • Rep works in break area and will advise employer if need to visit other areas
  1. Categories of Employees
  • Any on call employee who works full time (30 hours) for 90 days shall be classified as full time
  1. Hours of Work
  • Employer will pay employee in a higher class after 2 hours
  • Employer will notify employees who accept additional shifts if there is a chance they will be called off on a later shift that week.
  • Employer will make best effort to provide adequate parking
  • Employer will provide protective gloves and apron for the departments- laundry, housekeeping, and dietary
  1. Workload
  • Employer agrees to rotate call offs in seniority order
  1. Wage Increases and Bonuses
  • $.35 per year (effective January of each year) (Effective June 16 of each year for Laurel)
  • 35% of the State Bonus payable in 2015;
  • 30% of the State Bonus payable in 2016;
  • 25% of the State Bonus payable in 2017;
  • No employee shall earn less than $.30 above the State Minimum Wage
  1. Sick Leave
  • After ratification- Day 3 paid
  • July 1, 2015- Day 1 paid
  • All employees accrue 3 days of sick leave on July 1, 2015 and each July 1 thereafter
  • Sick leave includes regular part time and on call (accrue at 1 hour per 30 hours worked)
  1. Health Care
  • Covina, Chino, Montrose, Intercommunity
  • 70% Employee only is paid by Employer for health plan
  • Effective April 1, 2015 all employees with 15 years or more of consecutive services shall receive 85% employee only premium paid by Employer for health plan
  • Laurel only (phase in)
  • Effective July 1, 2015
  • 60% for employee only (is 55% now)
  • 75% for 15 or more consecutive years
  • Effective July 1, 2016
  • 65% for employee only
  • 80% for 15 or more consecutive years
  • Effective July 1, 2017
  • 70% for employee only
  • 85% for 15 or more consecutive years
  1. Leave of Absence
  • Employer may permit a 30 day leave of absence for re certification if the State caused a lapse in certification
  1. Bereavement Leave
  • Expand family to cover grandparent
  • If permitted by law, employees may use sick leave for bereavement days
  1.  Union Leave
  • Employer will work with union to release union members to attend Ed Fund or Local Executive Board meetings
  1. Education Fund
  • Employer will continue to contribute $.07 per hour to the Ed Fund and will meet with Fund to develop program needs
  1. Grievance Procedure
  • Simplified grievance procedure –
  • Informal plus 2 steps
  1. Term of Agreement– 3 years until April 30, 2018


Comments Off on Nursing Home Members Win Big in Longwood Settlement!

Good luck, health & cheer this Lunar New Year!

Happy New Year


The Goat (or Sheep or Ram) comes 8th in the Chinese zodiac. The 12 zodiac animals are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat/Sheep/Ram, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

According to Chinese astrology, each year (starting from Chinese New Year) is associated with an animal sign, occurring in a 12-year cycle. For example 2015 is a year of the Goat/Sheep/Ram.

  • Lucky Colors: brown, red, purple
  • Lucky Numbers: 2, 7
  • Lucky Flowers: carnation, primrose
  • Year of Birth: 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027

This Chinese lunar year, which begins today, the easily identifiable ma (馬) gives way to the vague yang (羊). The first clearly refers to a horse. The second, yang, is impossible to translate precisely and can equally refer to a goat or a sheep. The US Postal Service, for what it’s worth, went with the Year of the Ram.

The issue goes beyond translation, however. As pointed out in a recent blog post by Victor Mair, professor of Chinese language and literature at University of Pennsylvania, yang is not a clear reference even to native speakers of Chinese. Translations of Matthew 25:31 separate sheep and goats, just as Jesus plans to, into two different yangmianyang (sheep) and shanyang (goat). There is yet another yang word, gongyang, that refers specifically to a ram.

The zodiac animal, however, is just yang. Looking up 羊年, or “year of the yang,” in Baidu image search reveals goats, sheep, and rams in virtually equal numbers.

The new year is an opportunity for many with Asian heritage and connections to gather, and the most traditional way to celebrate any Asian holiday is to stuff your belly. And you don’t have to be Asian to do that.

We’re reprising our past suggestions for delicious and auspicious things to eat during the holiday (in China, the holiday lasts seven days!). Since Chinese people love superstitions almost as much as they love food, here are more than eight—why eight?—suggestions on what to order and why:

DUMPLINGS: Fried or steamed jiaozi look like old-fashioned Chinese ingots.

LETTUCE: The Cantonese word for lettuce sounds like “growing fortune.” One traditional way to eat lettuce is to dip it into boiling water (with a little bit of oil) and then put oyster sauce on it.

SHANGHAINESE-STYLE EGG ROLLS: These egg rolls have a thinner wrapping and their golden shape look like gold bars.

SHREDDED VEGETABLE SALAD: Carrots, soybeans, black mushrooms, bamboo shoots and many other veggie options (sometimes ten) make up this dish, which can be prepared in advance and in great volume to last all 15 days of New Year celebrations. The soybeans are served whole, because their shape looks like the ruyi, the talisman symbolizing good luck (ruyi means “whatever you wish”).

WHOLE CHICKEN: Whole chicken is special for celebrations, since usually chicken is diced into smaller pieces in dishes. During Chinese New Year, families are busy cooking many special foods, so chicken is usually cooked in advance, like drunken chicken or smoked chicken.

“LION’S HEAD” MEATBALLS: This dish consists of four big meatballs that are browned and then simmered in a pot of sauce and bok choy (the meatballs are the head, the bok choy is the mane). The roundness of the meatball symbolizes wholeness and togetherness of the family.

WHOLE FISH: The Chinese word for fish is yu, which sounds like the word for surplus and excess—which the Chinese take as “more fortune.”

EIGHT TREASURE RICE: With roots in Chinese folklore and history, this dessert is made from glutinous rice and bean paste—plus eight toppings (items like red dates, lotus seeds, walnuts, raisins, pine nuts, dates, dried apricot, pistachio).

SWEET RICE CAKE: Round and sweet, niangao are popular because nian sounds like “year” andgao sounds like “high” in Chinese, so it’s like starting the year off on a high (and sweet) note (another translation might be “every year, you get better and better”). These glutinous cakes are steamed and the sliced; sometimes then they are also dipped into egg and fried.

ORANGES/KUMQUATS/TANGERINE/POMELOS: The word for these fruits sound like good fortune.

TANGYUAN (GLUTINOUS RICE BALLS): While there are many kind of tangyuan—balls made from glutinous rice flour—a popular kind is one that’s filled like black sesame paste, sort of like mochi. The tangyuan, served in a fermented rice wine soup (it’s not really boozy), are a mainstay during holidays like Lunar New Year, Winter Solstice and Chinese Valentine’s Day, and symbolize togetherness.

Comments Off on Good luck, health & cheer this Lunar New Year!

Black History = Our History: Celebrating #BHM





Comments Off on Black History = Our History: Celebrating #BHM