by Margitte Kristjansson | November 18, 2013
SAN DIEGO — Affordable health care is a good thing. Ask one of the thousands of homecare providers in California – some of whom make only minimum wage and are able to get good health benefits for themselves and their families for the first time.
America’s homecare providers take care of family and community members—people with disabilities or illness, and the elderly—so that they can live with dignity in their own homes. And even though their job is to keep others healthy, many homecare providers were unable to go to a doctor themselves if they got sick.
Amy Day is one of those providers. She’s one of the 65,000 members of the United Domestic Workers of America (UDW), AFSCME Local 3930, a single mom and full-time caregiver. For the first time ever, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) guarantees Day and her family health insurance that they can afford. California is one of the states that will participate in the Medicaid expansion, meaning that health care benefits are free for thousands more low-income families.
“I come from a huge family, so I know how hard it can be to find good health care on a budget,” Day said. “What this means for me is that my family can focus on preventative care and staying healthy.” Read more »
South African Domestic Workers Meet with UDW Caregivers
They live half a world away, but domestic workers in South Africa face some of the same challenges as homecare providers in the United States. Last week a group of them—maids, homecare workers, and house servants from the South African Domestic Service and Allied Workers Union (SADSAWU) — met with UDW leadership and caregivers to learn from one another’s experiences. They are visiting the United States as part of the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center’s exchange program.
Much like UDW, SADSAWU’s union membership is spread across thousands of workplaces across their regions. This makes it very difficult for them to effectively reach potential members. The workers from South Africa asked us how we create connections with members who are spread across a large area in isolated work spaces. And we learned some tips from them, too. Read more »
This November, we’re ready for a different kind of thanks-giving!
Homecare providers are the backbone of our communities, keeping our friends and neighbors with disabilities and the elderly healthy and safe. To recognize and give thanks for this work, UDW has put together a slew of activities–from provider appreciation parties to County Board of Supervisors proclamation events, and a chance to win $200!–for the entire IHSS community to enjoy.
Throughout the month you can keep up with coverage of these events on Facebook, and check out our Provider Appreciation Month photo album here. Read more »