The Power to Win

By standing together as union members, we have protected IHSS and won improvements for caregivers

Some of us remember the days when California caregivers didn’t have collective bargaining. It meant minimum wage for IHSS providers. No health care benefits. No voice with lawmakers in Sacramento and very little power to stop cuts to IHSS that hurt our families and clients.

But today we are a powerful force that stands up for our families and the seniors and people with disabilities who rely on homecare. Overtime pay is the latest victory for caregivers, and we have a proven track record in winning improvements for IHSS providers and clients.

Protecting the IHSS program

As caregivers, our number one priority is to protect our clients and loved ones. By joining together as union members, we have been able to save IHSS year after year from budget cuts and politicians threatening to gut the program.

  • Stopped a 20% cut to IHSS hours in court last year
  • Stopped pay reduction to minimum wage
  • Stopped elimination of pay for family member providers
  • Stopped elimination of pay for domestic services
  • Stopped additional $17 fee for FBI background check

Winning for caregivers and our clients

We have also worked together to make improvements to the program and win wage increases and other benefits for caregivers. Our voices have made a difference.

  • Won wage increases and overtime pay
  • Won direct deposit for paychecks (UDW-sponsored bill)
  • Won thousands of dollars in back pay for providers and more hours for IHSS clients (appealing hours assessments)
  • Won healthcare benefits

“I’m a strong advocate for our union because when people have tried to knock us down and prevent us from having power, we’ve stood together and fought back. And, as a member I got help getting more hours of care for my dad.” –Marilyn Smith, caregiver, Riverside County

There is strength in numbers!

Protecting IHSS takes effort – and cash. By pooling our resources, homecare providers are able to fend off attacks to IHSS by billionaires and CEOs. Union dues pay for the work we do to stop IHSS cuts, win more hours for IHSS clients, and win better pay and benefits for caregivers. UDW caregivers also have access to members-only benefits such as free caregiver trainings and a low-cost dental plan (visit

“The voice of one is good but when you have the voice of thousands backing you, it can move mountains.”

–Astrid Zuniga, caregiver and UDW District Chair, Stanislaus County

Our next step: Restoring hours and ending the 7% cut

We know that without the strength of our union—made up of 66,000 caregivers across the state—the IHSS program as we know it would simply not exist. This is why we continue to fight for homecare and our clients and loved ones, and are working right now to restore client hours and end the 7% cut.

But what about the future? There is so much we want to accomplish together: from improving the IHSS program and increasing caregiver wages and benefits, to making sure that all caregivers can afford to retire someday. We want to build up the IHSS program in California and strengthen our union so that we can ensure a better future for all of us, because we are the future of homecare!

“I want more people to get involved in our union because our loved ones and clients count on us to stand together so that they can receive the best possible care in their homes and communities.” –Rudy Sanchez, caregiver, Santa Barbara County



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.