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SEIU Members'”Family Photo Albums” Depict Up-Close and Personal Impacts of Cuts to Home Care

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seiu-org-logoHome care workers in California are standing up against a budget proposal from Governor Jerry Brown that would prohibit overtime. Under the governor’s proposal, caregivers could see their paychecks slashed by 43 percent, while clients’ hours of care could be reduced by 7 percent, compromising their care. This despite President Obama’s recent move to extended FLSA coverage to home care workers, affording them minimum wage protections and overtime pay.

Loretta Jackson, a UHW member from Sacramento County, provides care for three people, including her father, who suffers from dementia, and her sister. Without overtime, Loretta’s finances and her clients’ lives will be thrown into chaos.

“Leaving any of my clients with a stranger terrifies me,” said Loretta. “The governor is taking something that should make our lives and our clients’ lives better and turning everything upside down–putting them at risk and forcing me further into poverty.”

Yesterday, SEIU members from UHWULTCWCUHW, and UDW came together with the seniors, children and adults with disabilities they care for to deliver “Family Photo Albums” to legislators at the state capitol. These albums tell their stories and show the important relationship between home care workers and the people they care for.

“The governor’s proposal is to avoid paying overtime by simply prohibiting any worker from working more than 40 hours a week. What the proposal does is to break the fragile bond between home care worker and consumer and doom home care providers, mostly women and people of color, to an endless cycle of poverty,” said Rebecca Malberg, a home care director for SEIU-UHW, in her testimony to the California Assembly budget committee.

This article was originally printed on SEIU on March 6, 2014.  Reprinted with permission.

Author: Molly O’Gorman


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