Home care workers donate cans to Supervisors

“We have nothing more to give”

Struggling with economic hardship — and facing a 20 percent wage cut — home care workers urged the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors on Nov. 22 to extend their contract, without devastating cuts.

“The way things are, we are barely paying rent,” said Allan Kapua, a home care client. “We are hooked up to two food banks. Please show your support and approve our contract another year. It is our safety net and our lives are on the line.”

To demonstrate that they are financially stretched thin, home care workers brought canned food donations from home and, one by one, placed them before the Board of Supervisors.

“Since we have nothing more to give, we thought we should come today with our last cans of food and donate them to you,” said Ellen Rollins, a home care provider and SEIU 521 Regional Vice President. “It’s a symbolic gesture, but I hope its meaning is clear: We have nothing more to give. Please don’t take more from us.”

Home care workers earn a couple of dollars above minimum wage for the critical work that they do. Yet the state is looking at cutting their hours, which means cutting their meager earnings.

“We have already given up enough,” said Laurina Marasco, a home care worker who provides care for her husband. “Plus the state wants to cut us an additional 20 percent. Any further cuts are going to make it impossible to make ends meet.”

What’s next:
Come to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors meeting
Tuesday, Dec. 6, 8:30 a.m.
70 W. Hedding St., San Jose

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