2019 YEAR IN REVIEW: 365 days of caregivers making a difference

As we look ahead to 2020 and beyond, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the events and accomplishments of the past year:

JANUARY

Victory on cuts to IHSS hours

Governor Gavin Newson showed his support for caregiving by eliminating the 7 percent cut to IHSS hours in his first budget proposal.

Legislative Scorecard released

We released our annual report card that details which lawmakers supported caregivers…and which did not. Sixty-four California State legislators had perfect 100 percent ratings in support for caregivers!

FEBRUARY

Victory for IHSS Providers in Mono County

In the first of many contract victories for UDW counties this year, our Mono members ratified a new contract that included a raise to $12.50 an hour (upon ratification), $13.50 an hour on January 1, 2020, $14.50 an hour on January 1, 2021, and $15.50 an hour on January 1, 2022.

Childcare Blitz

UDW members of Child Care Providers United (CCPU-UDW) knocked on thousands of doors statewide to sign more family child care providers into our growing movement.

Master Plan on Aging

Gov. Newsom unveiled a bold new plan to address the state’s long-term care needs. Called the Master Plan on Aging, the new initiative seeks input from long-term care stakeholders including UDW members.

State of the State Honor

Butte County UDW member Carnella Marks was invited to be Gov. Newsom’s special guest at his first annual State of the State address.

MARCH

Legislator visits CCPU-UDW member’s child care

Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes accepted our invitation to “Walk-a-Day” in the shoes of one of our members, CCPU-UDW family child care provider Debbie Cook of Corona.

UDW leads on safe police interactions

UDW Executive Vice President Astrid Zuniga addressed the 12th Annual Developmental Disabilities Public Policy Conference and talked about our union’s work ensuring safer relations between law enforcement and people with disabilities.

UDW’s Yesenia DeCasaus honored at Capitol

District 5 Regional Coordinator Yesenia DeCasaus was named Assembly District 37 Woman of the Year by Assemblymember Monique Limon for all of her work championing the rights of home care workers and women across the state of California.

APRIL

UDW takes on cannabis

Responding to the needs of thousands of UDW members and clients who use cannabis for relief, UDW took the bold step of sponsoring legislation to increase access to safe, legal cannabis in the 77% of California counties that have banned dispensaries. UDW District 4 Chair Florence Crowson represented our members in legislative testimony in April.

CCPU-UDW member addresses state labor federation

Honoring our child care campaign as one of the largest union organizing drives in the country, leaders of the California Labor Federation asked CCPU-UDW member Alicia Turner to speak at their convention on our historic efforts. “There’s no turning back,” Alicia told the crowd, quoting labor leader Cesar Chavez. “We will win. We are winning because ours is a revolution of mind and heart.”

MAY

Child care rally at Capitol

May 1 is recognized as the International Day of the Worker, so we joined our friends in the labor movement for a rally and celebration at the California State Capitol that focused on the work UDW is doing to organize family child care workers. CCPU-UDW member Charlotte Neal let the crowd know that family child care providers are ready to fight for a better child care system in this state: “Today, we are going to do what providers do best. We will take all of our energy and…turn it into something positive.”

UDW caregivers fight federal attack

UDW members stood with California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as he announced the state was filing a lawsuit to protect California IHSS providers against a federal attack on our ability to have our union dues deducted from our paychecks.

Victory for IHSS providers in Imperial County

Our Imperial members voted YES on a new contract that included a raise to $12.40 an hour (upon ratification), $13.40 an hour on January 1, 2020, and $14.40 an hour on January 1, 2021. Because the contract also included more funding for health care, more of our Imperial members were able to access coverage.

JUNE

Victory for IHSS Providers in Orange County

Orange County UDW members for voted YES on a new contract that included a raise to $12.25 an hour (upon ratification), $13.50 an hour on January 1, 2020, $14.50 an hour on January 1, 2021, and $15.50 an hour on January 1, 2022. The contract also provided for safety supplies (e.g., non-latex gloves, disinfectants, hand sanitizers, masks, etc.) in the amount of $30,000 dollars through June 30, 2022.

Governor signs state budget that includes wins for UDW members

Gov. Newsom and the legislature finalized a budget deal that included UDW-sponsored legislation allocating $1 million dollars to study long-term care needs. However, the state failed to end the 7 percent cut to IHSS hours permanently.

“Much more will need to be done to ensure a future where every Californian has the care they need to live a full and well life, in comfort and dignity,” said UDW Executive Director Doug Moore in a statement. We look forward to continuing to work with the Governor and legislature to make that future a reality.”

JULY

Members gather across the state for summer fun

The summer BBQ season started as local UDW offices organized gatherings to feed and uplift each other in parks across the state. Nothing like a cold drink and the warm company of other IHSS families to remember why we do what we do!

AB 603 goes into effect

In 2018, we sponsored a bill to help family child care providers who struggle to get paid accurately and on time from subsidy programs. On July 1, 2019, AB 603 went into effect giving child care providers, among other benefits, the right to direct deposit regardless of what county they live and work in.

Speaking up for immigrant rights

Acting on our beliefs to support every family, our Orange County members joined other community groups to speak out against DHS detention centers and to advocate for immigrant safety in our community.

AUGUST

AFSCME presidential forum

To ensure our issues are addressed in the 2020 election, UDW members joined other AFSCME unions in Las Vegas for a question and answer session with candidates for U.S. President. Top of our minds? Pay, of course. “I serve the working poor, and I am also the working poor,” said CCPU-UDW member Miren Algorri.

AB 392 signed

With the passing and signing of AB 392, California now has one of the toughest police use-of-force bills in the country. UDW signed on as co-sponsor of this groundbreaking legislation for a simple reason: nearly half of all people killed by police are people with disabilities. Many of our members came forward to give deeply-felt testimony as the bill moved through the legislative process.  “As we work toward accountability for my mother’s death, the passage of AB 392 gives me hope,” said Hali McKelvie, who was present for the bill signing and whose mother, UDW member Myra Micalizio, was shot by police during a mental health crisis. “We can never get my mother back, but we can help save other families from this pain.”

SEPTEMBER

Sharing health care resources

Our Orange and San Diego offices hosted health fairs where members and our families could receive some basic health care services and connect with health care resources available to our communities.

AB 5 signed: Thanks to the support of working people up and down the state, AB 5, which protects workers from being misclassified, was signed into law. UDW members helped make this important law a reality by joining other union members to lobby at the state capitol and organizing in our home counties.

UDW co-hosts long-term care forum in San Francisco

As part of our commitment to helping build a sustainable, person-centered long-term care system, UDW and our allies in California Aging and Disability Alliance (CADA) held a forum for legislators and other stakeholders to build awareness and explore solutions to the growing care crisis.

CCPU-UDW members win full union rights

UDW family child care providers—and working people statewide—one a HUGE victory when Gov. Newsom signed our bill, AB 378. This groundbreaking legislation gives California family child care providers full union rights for the first time. We fought for 16 years for full union rights and the celebration was sweet. CCPU-UDW members will now be able to sit down at the table with the state as full partners and bargain over reimbursement rates and issues essential to the future of child care in California.

OCTOBER

Fighting for better wages in Butte County

Butte is one of the counties where we are turning up the heat on boards of supervisors who won’t budge on negotiating an IHSS contract that includes a pay raise. So, in one of many BOS actions throughout the state this year, our Butte members turned out to demand ACTION.

AB 911, the Manny Alert, signed

The success of AB 911 was thanks to the tireless work of our Executive Vice President, Astrid Zuniga, who shepherded this important legislation aimed at keeping people with disabilities safer. The new law, named The Manny Alert Act in honor of Astrid’s son Manny, is step toward a California where first responders know more about our loved ones with disabilities and are better prepared to protect them during times of emergency.

Victory for IHSS Providers in Riverside County

Another contract win this year took place in Riverside County, where UDW members ratified an agreement with the county that gave Riverside providers an additional 25-cent raise when the minimum wage went up to $13 an hour on Jan. 1. Another 25-cent raise will be added to workers’ pay when the minimum wage rises to $14 an hour on Jan. 1, 2021, bring workers’ total hourly wage to $14.50. The contract also nearly eliminated the health care wait list in Riverside County, bringing health insurance to over 3,000 providers there!

Child care celebration

The celebrating over our new child care union rights continued into October with an event in Los Angeles where CCPU members hosted special guests Gov. Newsom, AFSCME International President Lee Saunders and SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry. “For too long, you’ve been overworked and undervalued,” said Saunders. “For too long, you were denied a seat at the table,” he continued. “Now, you have the opportunity to stand together, to speak up together, to build power together in a strong union.”

CCPU-UDW receives Sac CLC award

The success of our 16-year campaign to win full union rights for family child care providers wasn’t just a victory for our members: As one of the largest union organizing drives in the country, we are building power for the whole labor movement. Our friends at the Sacramento Central Labor Council showed their respect for our hard work by honoring us with an organizing award at their annual “Salute to Labor” dinner. CCPU-UDW provider Charlotte Neal spoke for all of us as she accepted the award: “Child care providers are in the labor movement to stay!”

Fahari Jeffer dies

We were sad to learn of the passing of one of UDW’s original founders, Fahari Jeffers. In 1977, Fahari and her husband, Ken Seaton-Msemaji, formed the UDW organizing committee under the mentorship of Cesar Chavez. With the signing of our first contract in 1979, UDW became one of the few unions ever to be founded by people of color. “With the founding of the United Domestic Workers, Fahari and Ken helped open the door of the American labor movement to women and people of color—the people who needed it most,” said UDW Executive Director Doug Moore said. “That contribution will always be remembered. On behalf of UDW, I extend my deepest condolences to Fahari’s family and to all those whose lives she touched.”

NOVEMBER

Provider Appreciation Month

November is a special time for UDW when we take time to recognize and celebrate caregivers for everything we do for our clients, our families and our communities. Thousands of members gathered at annual Provider Appreciation Dinners all over the state and shared food, fun and support. From doing the Macarena in San Diego to playing balloon-race games in El Dorado, we took some time to let loose and remind each other: We are here for each other and we are stronger together.

Power shutoffs

We faced new caregiving challenges as Public Safety Power Shutoffs became the new normal during fire season. But we are facing this problem head-on by advising the state on how to keep seniors and people with disabilities safe—and advocating for compensation for folks who’ve been financially impacted by the outages.

Victory for IHSS providers in Santa Barbara County

Our central coast members scored a win after negotiating a pay raise. The wage increases IHSS provider pay to $13.77 an hour beginning in February 2020. In January 2021, the wages will increase to $14.77 an hour. The contract also includes an additional 20 cents per hour toward Santa Barbara providers health care.

DECEMBER

San Francisco CCPU-UDW organizing blitz

We were out in force in the city of San Francisco, knocking on providers’ doors and signing up new family child care providers to our movement. Excitement is building for our CCPU union election next year—everybody wants to join our movement and be part of making a better future for California families!

Fighting for better wages in Kern County

Our members are turning up the heat on counties that don’t want to invest in the future of home care. We ended the year in Bakersfield by putting the Kern County Board of Supervisors on notice that everybody deserves the right to home care—and the only way to guarantee that right is to pay providers enough to keep doing their jobs.

Looking ahead to 2020

Whew! It’s been a busy year. But if you think UDW members accomplished a lot in 2019, just wait for next year! We will be pushing statewide to strengthen the IHSS program and win better wages in our counties that don’t have current contracts, fighting for unemployment insurance for family caregivers, and getting involved in local, state and federal elections to make sure caregivers and our families get the representation we deserve.

Get involved! Call your local office to find out ways that you can make a difference. Alone, caregivers may be strong, but together we are unstoppable!

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Paid for by United Domestic Workers of America Action Fund, sponsored by United Domestic Workers of America. Not authorized by a candidate or a committee controlled by a candidate.

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