FAQ: In-Home Care Workers

Q: If I’m an In-Home Supportive Services-authorized homecare provider, what services, benefits and discounts am I eligible for?
A: Please see UnionPlus.org [http://www.unionplus.org/] for details.

Q: If I’m an IHSS-authorized homecare provider, am I also automatically a union member?
A: No, you only become a union member when you sign and send in an actual union membership card.

Q: Does it cost anything to become a union member?
A: No. If you’re an IHSS-authorized homecare provider, union membership is free.

Q: What about the deductions from my monthly paycheck? Where do those go?
A: IHSS makes automatic monthly deductions from the paychecks of homecare providers who work a certain number of hours per month. (Deductions vary by county. See this PDF file for details) Those funds go toward union dues. But you don’t become an official union member until you sign and send in a union membership card.

Q: If I sign the membership card and become a union member, what am I eligible for?
A: Union members are eligible to do the following:

  • Vote for executive board members and officers (president & vice president)
  • Receive priority over non-members in union-provided, free training courses
  • Perform various paid union jobs — like phone-banking, member-organizing, political outreach, and administrative tasks

Q: Why else should I become a union member?
A: Being a member is your opportunity to make your voice heard on issues important to you and your family. It’s your chance to stand up and be counted.

Q: How do I sign and send in a union membership card?
A: Visit this page.

Q: What is COPE?
A: COPE stands for Committee on Political Education. It is our union’s voluntary bi-partisan Political Action Committee used for political and legislative activities. We hold politicians accountable at every level of government, and help our union build the political power to win strong contracts, better benefits and pass laws to protect our jobs. By law, our union cannot use our union dues for political contributions or activities.

Q: How does COPE work for us?
A: COPE allows us to dedicate resources behind worker-friendly candidates and help get them elected to school boards and Congress. COPE money is used not only for contributions to candidates, but also voter registration efforts, lobbying, and get-out-the-vote efforts. Funds are also used to introduce and pass legislation that protects SEIU ULTCW members and our families.

Q: Why Is SEIU ULTCW Involved in Politics?
A: Collective bargaining rights, job security, working conditions, and benefits are decided by elected officials. To do an effective job in collective bargaining, we must be involved in electing candidates to school boards, city councils, county commissions, Governor, State Legislature, President, and Congress, who value, who believe in, and who will stand up for long-term careissues at the decision making table.

Q: How much are COPE contributions?
A: The minimum monthly contribution is $7, although many of our members opt to contribute $10, $15 or $20 per month.

Q: How is the Money Used?
A: All COPE money goes into our Political Account for use in local, state, and federal activities only. It does not become part of the general treasury. A portion goes to the SEIU federal PAC at the International office for use in Congressional or U.S. Senate races. COPE money is used not only for contributions to candidates, but also voter registration efforts, lobbying, and get-out-the-vote efforts. Funds are also used to introduce and pass legislation that protects SEIU members and their families.

Q: Who Does SEIU ULTCW Support?
A: We support pro-SEIU, pro-worker candidates in local, state and federal election campaigns. We are bi-partisan and support both Republicans and Democrats who support our issues.

Q: How can I contribute to COPE?
A: Visit this page.