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Home Care Workers Rally to Demand Supervisors Act in Contract Talks

Oakland, CA –Home care workers and their supporters rallied at the Alameda County Administration Building on the morning of May 27th to demand that the Alameda County Board of Supervisors take a more active role in their contract negotiations with the County.

“As home care providers, we care for Alameda County’s most vulnerable residents, helping them stay in their homes and live with dignity. Yet the county’s contract negotiator refuses to consider the same for us,” said home care worker and UTLCW Vice President Brenda Jackson.

The workers, represented by SEIU United Long Term Care Workers (ULTCW) have been working without a contract since September of last year and have not had a raise from their $11.50 hourly rate in nearly six years.

“It’s no secret that it takes more than $11.50 an hour to cover basic expenses,” said UTLCW Secretary-Treasurer Kim Evon. “We need our elected representatives to wake up and tell the County’s negotiator that we need a decent wage increase so we, too, can live in dignity.”

After the rally, the workers and their supporters entered the Board of Supervisors’ chambers to demand that the Board direct its negotiator to put a meaningful offer on the table.

Tiffanie Ramos, a home care provider who has been caring for her mother for six years, told the crowd “I couldn’t take another full-time job and leave my mom at home, unable to care for herself. I do this because I love my mother. Our expenses have gone up – gas, milk, bread. Yet I have had no raise in all the time I have been doing this work. I don’t expect to get rich. I just want to be able to care for my mom and make ends meet.” Tiffanie was among the workers who stayed at the Board meeting to share her views during the public comment portion of the meeting.

The next negotiating session is scheduled for June 17.

 

SEIU United Long Term Care Workers (ULTCW) is California’s leading long term care organization dedicated to providing and protecting quality care for some of our most vulnerable residents. SEIU ULTCW represents 180,000 in-home care providers and nursing home workers throughout California, making it the largest union of long term care givers in California and the second largest SEIU local in the nation.
Nadja Adolf June 04, 2014 at 03:15 AM
The SEIU can't get past the negotiator since the negotiator has stacks and stacks of comparable wage reports. This is about trying to make it a political issue and causing a public stampede in favor of public employees. After all, it worked for BART, right? The fallout of that one is that the town mayor who felt that BART workers should be handed everything in sight is likely to go to the state house from his district - while the official who felt that BART employees were adequately compensated, especially compared to other workers in the area and transit workers nationwide is going down to defeat. It's actually sort of funny to watch rich white folks who have never been in a union (unless they were hired to work in the offices after college) or have ever worked in a blue collar job dance around singing "Union Maid" everytime the civil servants want a raise.
Mona Taplin June 04, 2014 at 01:49 PM
In home care as opposed to placing elderly and handicapped in nursing homes is a growing trend. It isn't easy work to assist folks in and out of wheelchairs, bathe them, prepare meals with diet restrictions and the many other chores Home care workers perform. There are bad eggs among them of course, but the good ones are absolutely indispensable. Many of these are not employed full time because of the costs involved. My niece Marilyn for instance holds down 3 part time jobs in order to make ends meet and still finish her education without needing to ask for student loans. She will soon finish her LVN training, but intends to stick pretty much to elder care because she enjoys giving aide and comfort to those who need. This has always been a low paying job, otherwise only the wealthy would be able to pay for such assistance. Even so, they do deserve more than just minimum wages and few, if any, benefits.

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