2021 Year in Review

After an unpredictable and difficult 2020, UDW members met 2021 with newfound hope and optimism for a much better year. With vaccines on the horizon, schools reopening, and the return of many in-person activities, we began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And, while this year has not been without its challenges and the global pandemic continues to be at the forefront of our daily lives, we have come together on so many important issues and achieved so many great things that the future for our union looks bright! In 2021, we kept learning, advocating, and and taking action to make positive impacts in the lives of UDW members and those we serve. As we reflect on the year behind, let’s take a minute to celebrate what we’ve done… and get ready to keep fighting tirelessly to ensure our voices are heard, our rights are protected, and our needs are met.

WINTER

On January 1, we welcomed the new year with a well-deserved and much appreciated statewide boost to our wages thanks to the statewide minimum wage increase. This was made possible thanks to UDW members working in collaboration with thousands of fast-food workers, retail employees, and other underpaid workers to win the Fight for $15 back in 2016.

We hosted a roundtable discussion with Governor Newsom at our headquarters in San Diego in early February to discuss the pandemic’s effects on our communities and the prioritization of IHSS and family care providers in the state’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
UDW member receives COVID-19 vaccine at the UDW vaccine drive in San Diego.

We kicked off the year the only way we know how— fighting for what we deserve! We made sure our concerns were heard at the local and state level, by meeting with legislators, including Gov. Newsom, to demand higher wages, better benefits and that we and our clients be listed near the top to receive the COVID-19 vaccines. In February the state released their IHSS audit report, which UDW was instrumental in advocating for. The audit highlighted major injustices—like the fact that no IHSS caregiver in the entire state earns a living wage, and huge gaps in the caregiver-to-client ratio—and strengthened our demands at both local and state levels. Lastly, we continued our ongoing PPE and food distributions throughout the state, and began hosting our first COVID-19 vaccine drives.

SPRING

In the spring, we recommitted ourselves to building our power to make way for bigger and better things. More than 15 years since the last change in UDW membership dues, we voted to approve a new dues structure that better reflects our priorities and goals for the future. Our new structure puts even more resources and strength behind our fight for higher wages, better access to healthcare, retirement security, and a path to statewide—not county-by county—IHSS bargaining. Overall, our new dues structure sets a stronger foundation to build a more powerful union in order to fight for what IHSS providers, our clients, and our families truly need.

Kern County UDW members cleaned up one of their local parks in honor of Earth Day.

During the season, we continued to expand our knowledge and support for social justice issues. We took a strong stance against Asian American and Pacific Islander hate by participating and facilitating educational workshops and taking part in local protests. We also cleaned up local parks and parts of our neighborhoods in honor of Earth Day, because we know how much the environment affects not only our own health, but the health of our clients. We also upped our involvement in combatting environmental racism and fighting for environmental justice by joining 18 other labor unions and launching the California Climate Jobs Plan, which seeks to transition oil and gas jobs into clean energy jobs in the near future. We are so proud of our efforts to address these, and other social justice issues and we look forward to continuing to learn and grow in the coming years.

SUMMER

As summer rolled around, we turned up the heat and continued to raise our voices for what is just. In June, we rallied once again. We made phone calls and sent letters to the Governor and legislators before marching to the state capitol to demand that they end the 7% cut to IHSS hours, ensure counties are required to bargain with IHSS providers in good faith, and win wage increases for child care providers. After months of tireless advocating, we accomplished all of these things!

CCPU-UDW members gathered in front of the state capitol to demand higher wages for all child care providers.

In June, Gov. Newsom released a state budget that ended the 7 percent cut to California’s In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) hours once and for all. Though the cut has been funded on a year-to-year basis in recent years, removing it permanently is an important win for IHSS providers and our clients. We also successfully pushed for legislation that will implement a 7% fiscal penalty to counties that refuse to bargain with us in good faith and fail to reach a contract agreement with IHSS providers. This will help us fight back against counties which historically have denied us fair and respectful negotiations, such as Kern.

In July, Child Care Providers United made history by ratifying the first ever contract with the state of California. After months of negotiations, countless calls, and demanding our voices be heard across California, we reached an agreement with the state that will finally give all child care providers a pay increase starting in January 2022. CCPU-UDW won a total of $100 million to protect childcare providers and the families they serve during the pandemic; $50 million for child care vouchers for essential workers and $50 million for cleaning supplies.

Family child care provider Pat Alexander holds her Senate Resolution alongside family child care provider Charlotte Neal and other members of the UDW staff and board.

Finally, we held our 17th Constitutional Convention, Our Union, Our Future, at the Riverside office and virtually at our satellite offices up and down the state. At convention, UDW members made important decisions about the future of our union, attended a workshop on Labor and Social Justice 101, and heard keynotes from Doug Moore, President Saunders, and California Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber. We also had the great pleasure of officially welcoming 20,000 family child care providers as part of our union—adding that much more strength behind our cause.

FALL

During the Fall, UDW and our allies in Kern launched a countywide effort to establish term limits for the local Board of Supervisors (BOS). As it is now, Kern County Supervisors can run for reelection as many times as they want, making it difficult for new people and new ideas to lead our county. Our campaign seeks to limit BOS members to two terms, or eight years. To date, we have collected over 15,000 signatures, more than fifty percent of the number needed to place our initiative on the November 2022 ballot and put the future of Kern back where it belongs—in the hands of the voters.

UDW members and executive director, Doug Moore, along with AFSCME president, Lee Saunders, joined UNAC/UHCP members and healthcare workers in their fight for wage justice in Pasadena this past October.

After putting in much work toward advocating for what’s fair and just, we also took some time to celebrate the incredible, lifesaving work UDW caregivers do every day of the year. During Provider Appreciation Month, UDW distributed over 4,000 turkeys throughout the state, along with groceries, and other goodies and prizes. Along with celebrating providers, we joined our union family to celebrate and advocate for women’s rights at the annual Women’s March and our supported UNAC/UHCP members and healthcare workers in the fight for wage justice during their recent negotiations. We also continued to support our members through local distributions of K95 masks, face shields, gowns, gloves and hand sanitizer, along with monthly grocery donations in some counties.

Despite the pandemic and all the obstacles this year brought, UDW members moved forward in unity and become stronger than ever before—ready to continue fighting not only for what we know we deserve as caregivers and family child care providers, but also social justice for all. The strides we’ve made this year are only the beginning, because we know 2022 will be another year of growth. Thank you, union family, for your incredible passion and dedication to a better tomorrow. We are so proud.

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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.