By Kate Childs Graham, May 16, 2013
One in five Californians speak English less than “very well.” During the next five years, with the implementation of health care reform, more than 3 million Californians will require language assistance in health care. By state and federal law, these Californians must have access to translating services. And yet, the state does not yet have a clear plan for how a rapidly growing number of patients will access the care to which they are entitled and need.
To help and encourage legislators to develop that plan, AFSCME leaders have organized a new group called Interpreting for California. Members are pushing for a larger, well-trained interpreter work force. They are also working with Assembly Speaker John Perez to pass a bill, which requires the state Department of Health Care Services to apply for federal matching funds to create a state-certified pool of interpreters. Read the rest of this entry »
By Laura Reyes, Secretary-Treasurer, AFSCME
Huffington Post 5/11/13
This Mother’s Day, the members of my union, AFSCME, pledge to work to improve conditions for home care workers and enhance the lives of all the people we serve.
More than 125,000 home care providers are a part of AFSCME. I am one of them. I became a home care worker after the birth of my first son. He was born premature and the doctors indicated that he would not be able to walk or talk. I became a home care provider to make sure he got all of the care he required and that he defied the odds.
I was inspired by the activism of other home care providers and I joined in their cause. I have never looked back. And today, my son is walking, talking and getting a college education.
But my story is not unique. All of us, in an instant with illness or injury, can suddenly need help with the most basic task of daily life. Read the rest of this entry »
AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer and UDW homecare provider Laura Reyes marched four miles with us in San Diego. Photo credit: JT MacMillan.
May 1st marked May Day – otherwise known as International Workers’ Day. But what is this day all about?
May Day is when workers, progressives, union members and activists pull together to re-energize the fight for our communities. This year, marches and rallies across America focused on the need to fix our country’s broken immigration system. It’s about keeping families together, ending worker exploitation and bringing millions of people out of the shadows.
“Immigration reform is about dignity, freedom and respect,” said AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer Laura Reyes, who joined us for a 4-mile march through San Diego. Laura is one of us – a homecare provider from Chula Vista. She rose through the ranks as a UDW member leader and organizer to becoming one of the highest ranking women in the labor movement.
“This is our moment. This is our challenge, and make no mistake San Diego, we have seized this moment,” she told a crowd of hundreds at Chicano Park. Read the rest of this entry »
Boston Public Works Department Employee and AFSCME Local 445 member Steve Stapleton rushes back to the site of the bombings to assist other first responders and victims. (Photo courtesy AFSCME Council 93) Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Boston.
Yesterday, two bombs ripped through a crowd at the Boston Marathon, near the finish line, killing three people and injuring 176. In the hours since, many questions remain unanswered, but the human toll has been great.
“It is still too early to know who detonated bombs in Boston yesterday, but our hearts go out to those who lost family members and those struggling with the injuries they suffered,” said AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders. “Words are always inadequate at a time such as this, but we share the sense of shock and sadness that have reverberated throughout our country after this senseless act of violence.”
We are grateful to all those first responders and public service workers in Boston who rushed in to help when tragedy struck, including Boston Public Works Department Employee and AFSCME Local 445 (Council 93) member Steve Stapleton. All AFSCME members who were working in the area of Copley Square are safe and accounted for. Our hearts go out to the people of Boston and all those affected by this attack. Read the rest of this entry »
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May 22, 2013 — 10:00 AM
WEST LAWN, CAPITOL BUILDING, SACRAMENTO, CA
(CORNER OF 10TH AND L STREET)
Educational Resource Fair will have dozens of organizations dedicated to empowering and informing Californians with all types of disabilities.Come learn about housing, employment, education, technology, healthcare and more.
This year, we will also focus on the partnership between union members and disability rights advocates to secure access and justice for Californians with disabilities.