SEIU Local 521 together with its allies achieved real results on June 15 by winning IHSS home care workers access to overtime pay. This is considered a major victory given that IHSS homecare workers have been denied access to overtime since federal overtime laws were passed in 1938.
In January this year, after the Obama administration provided a pathway for providers to earn overtime and travel pay, Governor Brown responded by saying that home care providers can work no more than 40 hours per week, thus denying them the possibility of earning overtime.
Fortunately, home care workers took action as a union this year by regularly going to the State Capitol in large numbers to prevent the popular California Governor from capping IHSS home care worker hours at 40 hours per week. While the Governor was unwavering in his position since the start of Budget negotiations, the Governor could not drown out the thousands voices of homecare workers, advocates, and clients.
On June 5, thousands occupied the Capitol, sending a clear message to Governor Brown and the Legislature: for home care, every hour counts. In the end, the Governor gave into doing the right thing after months of resistance. For the first time in history, California home care providers will now receive overtime and travel pay!
Click here to read the joint statement of Laphonza Butler, President of SEIU California and Doug Moore, Executive Director of United Domestic Workers/AFSCME Local 3930, whose combined affiliates are made up of nearly 400,000 caregivers throughout California.
This victory is not only important because home care workers are now protected under basic employment rights, but because preventing a cap on hours ensures our clients and/or family members receive continuity of care and retain their freedom to choose who they wish to be their caregiver.
But we still have work to do.
Despite all our hard work, Governor Brown still refused to restore the cuts to home care clients’ hours. In July, the cut will drop from 8% to 7%, but that’s not enough. Home care clients don’t need 7% less care than they did before.
When we raise our voices together, it’s amazing what we can accomplish.
Contribute to COPE: Fight the attacks on working families. We need to stand together. That’s how we build our political power!
(Only SEIU union members and executive/administrative staff who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents are eligible to contribute to SEIU COPE.)
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Home Care COPE Form in English | Home Care COPE Form in Spanish
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