Home > Uncategorized > Rally for Homecare Workers Tomorrow

Rally for Homecare Workers Tomorrow

The California United Homecare Workers (CUHW) union will be holding a rally on Tuesday and we need your help to make it a success. Please join us as we continue our fight to improve the lives of those who keep our seniors and people with disabilities healthy at home. Here are the details:

What: Rally for Homecare Justice – Wear red to show that you “have a heart” for homecare.

Where: Humboldt County Courthouse, 825 Fifth Street, Eureka

When: Tuesday, February 5 at 12:30 pm

Why: Negotiations with the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, acting as the Humboldt County In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Public Authority, have dragged on for over a year as the Supervisors have refused to offer a single penny to the lowest paid caregivers in California. After the workers put forward a Settlement Proposal last December, the Board of Supervisors unilaterally ended negotiations and refused to consider the proposal.

The Supervisors have yet to provide a valid explanation for their refusal to pay homecare workers more than minimum wage. Last September, an impartial Fact Finder (paid for by both the County and CUHW) determined that “the County Clearly has the ability to pay the modest increases sought (as it has acknowledged) and has even budgeted sufficient funds to cover most, if not all the costs.”

Since then, the County has received more than $164,000 in federal funds through the Community First Choice Option (CFCO), a funding source specifically intended to support home- and community-based care options like IHSS. Other counties, including Yolo, Los Angeles, and San Joaquin have committed to using CFCO funds for homecare wages.

Not only does the County clearly have the ability to pay its modest portion of the proposed raise, it also has an opportunity to leverage additional funds that would otherwise be spent in other communities. Because IHSS is primarily paid for by state and federal dollars, approval of CUHW’s Settlement Proposal would infuse our local economy with more than $1.5 million.

If you agree that homecare workers deserve a raise, please join us on Tuesday. CUHW will also be joined at the rally by allies from local non-profits, other unions, the disability rights community, and senior advocates, among others. Following the rally, community supporters are invited to attend a reception at the union’s office, located at 314  L Street, Eureka.

 

For more information, email shaneb@cuhw.orgor call (707) 382-7270.

 


To contact the Supervisors:

Rex Bohn   <rbohn@co.humboldt.ca.us>
476-2391
Estelle Fennell  <efennell@co.humboldt.ca.us>
476-2392
Mark Lovelace <mlovelace@co.humboldt.ca.us>
476-2393
Virginia Bass <vbass@co.humboldt.ca.us>
476-2394
Ryan Sundberg <rsundberg@co.humboldt.ca.us>
476-2395

  1. no name sue
    February 4, 2013 at 10:17 am | #1

    IHSS cannot get reasonable pay but the Department of Public Works and the Arcata/Eureka Airport can run in the red, anticipated for the next five years, and the Board still proposes pay increases for public employees and management. This makes no sense!!
    Check out the Board agenda for January 22, 2013 and read the five year budget outlook.

  2. Goldie
    February 4, 2013 at 10:27 am | #2

    The funds are available! “The Supervisors have yet to provide a valid explanation for their refusal to pay homecare workers more than minimum wage. Last September, an impartial Fact Finder (paid for by both the County and CUHW) determined that “the County Clearly has the ability to pay the modest increases sought (as it has acknowledged) and has even budgeted sufficient funds to cover most, if not all the costs.”

  3. Goldie
    February 4, 2013 at 10:34 am | #3

    I almost forgot to add this: Not only does the County clearly have the ability to pay its modest portion of the proposed raise, it also has an opportunity to leverage additional funds that would otherwise be spent in other communities. Because IHSS is primarily paid for by state and federal dollars, approval of CUHW’s Settlement Proposal would infuse our local economy with more than $1.5 million.

  4. Dan
    February 4, 2013 at 10:53 am | #4

    Could someone remind me what the Supervisors are paid?
    Was the vote on this issue unanimous?

  5. Anonymous
    February 4, 2013 at 11:19 am | #5

    So, somehow over the past decade or so there was plenty of money for generous salary increases for the Supervisors themselves, and the Department Heads — but at the same time there was never enough to give the IHHS workers even a modest raise (even though most of the money for the IHHS wages actually come from state and federal sources, and the county would only have to kick in a small portion of those raises)? Can someone explain to me how that is possible? Cause it sure seems to me like it’s just a matter of priorities, and it looks like the Supervisors thought that having decent pay was a priority for themselves, and was a priority for the employees the Supervisors themselves worked closely with every day, but somehow didn’t think it was a priority to provide decent pay for the employees who work directly with seniors every day.

  6. Goldie
    February 4, 2013 at 11:37 am | #6

    Anyone can call them or email them and ask them some of your very good questions. The home care workers need the community to help them get the attention of these well paid supervisors.

  7. Anonymous
    February 4, 2013 at 12:02 pm | #7

    I have a question — how much additional money would the county have to pay next year to grant the raise, compared to how much the county would pay out if there is no raise for another year. The press release states that the state and feds would kick in $1.5 million (I’m assuming that’s an annual figure, please correct me if I’m wrong).

    Even if the immediate cost to the county budget is significant, if it’s going leverage $1.5 million from the state and the feds, and these combined funds can help enable qualified, experienced, competent, dedicated people to become and remain IHSS workers, doesn’t that seem like a pretty darn good deal for the county?

    It is my understanding that there is currently a rather high turnover among IHSS workers, largely due to the substandard pay and lack of benefits. Which is not surprising, as I am not aware of any industry or job category in which lower pay and higher turnover results in a more qualified, experienced, competent and dedicated workforce, and a better work product.

    So has it been the belief of previous Supervisors that IHSS is somehow the one area of human endeavor where underpaying the workers increases the quality of the work product? Or did they just not care enough about work product — in this case quality home care for our elders — to make it a priority?

  8. Anonymous
    February 4, 2013 at 12:12 pm | #8

    Conservatives want working class people paid less, not more.

  9. Dan
    February 4, 2013 at 12:23 pm | #9

    “Conservatives want working class people paid less, not more.”

    Not a Eisenhower Conservative
    Goldwater Conservative
    Nixon Conservative.
    What Conservative? Ronald Reagan alias Alan Greenspan
    alias Ayn Rand.
    Absolute economic screwballs.

  10. Anonymous
    February 4, 2013 at 12:34 pm | #10

    At one point not so long ago, Lovelace, Neeley, and Clendenen had a majority on the Board of Supervisors. So they were the “conservatives” who wanted working people paid less, not more?

    I’m not sure this one really breaks down into neat “conservative vs. liberal/progressive” categories.

    I hope the current board approves the raises, and I’m cautiously optimistic that they will.

  11. Anonymous
    February 4, 2013 at 12:39 pm | #11

    As I recall, the reason (excuse?) offered last time was that, while the county’s financial position had improved significantly since the trough of the recession, tax revenue was still lagging and other expenses had continued to go up, and so while the budget was in the black and there was even a modest surplus, the county had not yet re-built their reserves to an acceptable level, and therefore the responsible thing to do was to apply the surplus to rebuilding the county’s reserves.

    So it would be interesting to know what the budget projections look like at this point — if it looks like county is on track to continue running a surplus, and its reserves are now at, or at least approaching, the target amount, then this particular reason (excuse?) for not granting the raise to the IHSS workers will no longer apply.

    On the other hand, if the county’s financial situation is worsening, at least some of the supervisors may continue to take the position that the county can’t afford to grant the IHSS raises, even though they’d like to if they had the money. At that point the question would be whether the county doesn’t have the money due to circumstances beyond the control of the Supervisors (for example weak revenues because of continued weakness in the local, state, and national economies, declining help from the state, or unavoidable increases in other spending), or whether they’ve just failed to make the IHSS raises a priority and spent more money on other things — which would then raise the question of whether those other things are indeed more urgent and/or important than the IHSS raises.

  12. Just Watchin
    February 4, 2013 at 1:10 pm | #12

    It still boggles my mind how Conservatives get elected to office in an overwhelmingly liberal county. I’ve posed this question before on this blog…..is it so that there’s someone to blame when things go wrong? Last time I asked it, no one disagreed.

  13. Goldie
    February 4, 2013 at 1:16 pm | #13

    There seems to be enough money to pay people not to come to work. “In 2011 and the first half of 2012, Humboldt County spent more than $700,000 on salaries and benefits for people who weren’t coming to work — they were on paid administrative leave” Remember that article from the North Coast Journal by Ryan Burns? It was titled Don’t Bother Coming In.

  14. February 5, 2013 at 7:55 am | #14

    Just Watchin :
    It still boggles my mind how Conservatives get elected to office in an overwhelmingly liberal county. I’ve posed this question before on this blog…..is it so that there’s someone to blame when things go wrong? Last time I asked it, no one disagreed.

    There is a direct correlation between conservatives elected to office and the number of government jobs in a county in ratio to the economy as a whole. In Humboldt, Del Norte and other lightly populated counties in north California and in the Sierras, a high proportion of the local economies are dependent on government jobs. And guess what, those jobs are overwhelmingly held by “conservatives.”

    This is no mystery, it is simply a big mountain of irony ore.

    have a peaceful day,
    Bill

  15. notafan
    February 5, 2013 at 8:14 am | #15

    Congratulation’s, this blog is now complete garbage. Did not take long.

  16. Elmer Fudd
    February 5, 2013 at 8:19 am | #16

    Interesting theory Bill. So you’re saying that government employees, who as a rule are highly unionized are actually conservative? By contrast, would that mean the private industry owners and managers are liberal? Or just MORE conservative? Or-are you just pulling this crap out of your ear?
    have a thoughtful day
    Elmer

  17. Just Watchin
    February 5, 2013 at 8:26 am | #17

    Elmer Fudd :
    Interesting theory Bill. So you’re saying that government employees, who as a rule are highly unionized are actually conservative? By contrast, would that mean the private industry owners and managers are liberal? Or just MORE conservative? Or-are you just pulling this crap out of your ear?
    have a thoughtful day
    Elmer

    I gotta go with Elmer on this one.

  18. Dan
    February 5, 2013 at 8:40 am | #18

    Elmer and JW, what are you arguing?
    Do you not want to see healthcare workers
    and other low-paid workers wages brought up to
    a point where they may actually contribute to
    the system? I get the impression that you are clueless as to
    how an economy works.

  19. Anonymous
    February 5, 2013 at 8:48 am | #19

    They bitch about people being paid a wage high enough to qualify for income taxes and they bitch about people not paying taxes because they don’t earn enough. What they really want is people beneath them on the pay scale working for less than the cost of survival without any social programs to keep them alive.

  20. Just Watchin
    February 5, 2013 at 9:02 am | #20

    Dan :
    Elmer and JW, what are you arguing?
    Do you not want to see healthcare workers
    and other low-paid workers wages brought up to
    a point where they may actually contribute to
    the system? I get the impression that you are clueless as to
    how an economy works.

    I wasn’t arguing the wage issue, just how conservatives get elected to office by overwhelmingly liberal voters, and then blame them for everything.

  21. Anonymous
    February 5, 2013 at 9:14 am | #21

    They claim to be Democrats (or independents) who want to stimulate creation of good paying jobs but their agenda is identical to conservatives: further enriching the rich (themselves and their patrons) and driving the rest down to third world living conditions with a progressively declining share of the national wealth and income.

  22. Dan
    February 5, 2013 at 10:14 am | #22

    “I wasn’t arguing the wage issue, just how conservatives get elected to office by overwhelmingly liberal voters, and then blame them for everything.” JW

    Those terms ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ have been morphed so far to the right
    that they are no longer viable in conversation unless you qualify the term with
    some form of definition.

    Think of it, conservative Nixon’s policies today, ie. Nixon’s health plan,
    would be a dream come true to a liberal today. Hell today,Goldwater would be a lefties dream.

  23. Just Watchin
    February 5, 2013 at 10:40 am | #23

    If the electorate in Humboldt county don’t demand that politicians define their positions before electing them, then hold them to that position, then you get what you deserve.

  24. Anonymous
    February 5, 2013 at 10:46 am | #24

    No, we get what the majority who voted that way deserve.

  25. Not A Native
    February 5, 2013 at 11:15 am | #25

    Just Watchin :
    It still boggles my mind how Conservatives get elected to office in an overwhelmingly liberal county. I’ve posed this question before on this blog…..is it so that there’s someone to blame when things go wrong? Last time I asked it, no one disagreed.

    Well, I think the answer is obvious. Your assumption that HumCo is an overwhelmingly liberal county is incorrect. HumCo is sparsely populated and largely rural. Even Eureka is a very small town in relation to most cities. Rural areas are strongly Conservative across the entire country due to cultural and lifestyle effects.

  26. Just Watchin
    February 5, 2013 at 11:49 am | #26

    Humboldt county voted 60% for Obama and 33.8% for Romney. Hardly “strongly conservative” .

  27. Anonymous
    February 5, 2013 at 12:27 pm | #27

    Arcata. Garberville & Redway are ridiculously liberal. Mckinleyville, Blue Lake, Triniday swings liberal.

    Eureka is a 60/40 conservative and the rest of the county is very conservative.

  28. February 5, 2013 at 12:31 pm | #28

    All on my left are liberals.

  29. Anonymous
    February 5, 2013 at 1:06 pm | #29

    The “liberal” and “conservative” labels just don’t do a real good job of describing a large number of Humboldt County voters. Most people’s views just don’t fit neatly into those two categories (I realize the same is true elsewhere, but I think it’s especially true in Humboldt).

    I know I’m not the first to observe there is a strong libertarian streak to some of the folks on both the left and the right here in Humboldt. And then probably the largest group of Humboldt voters are those that might be described as “moderate” if only because they don’t fit neatly into right/left categories. Perhaps a better word for many of these voters would be “pragmatic.”

    These “pragmatic” voters tend to approach most issues as individual problems to be solved, rather than as part of an overall ideological agenda, and they tend to approach most candidates as individuals to be evaluated against their specific opponent, as opposed to seeing the one as a member of “our team” vs. a the other candidate who is part of “their team.” So they end up siding with “liberals” on some issue and candidates, and with “conservatives” on others.

    So what we might call “orthodox liberals” and “orthodox conservatives” both believe they are in the minority in this county. I think they are both right.

  30. Just Watchin
    February 5, 2013 at 1:14 pm | #30

    I’m curious……when politicians in Humboldt run for office, do they declare their party affiliation ?

  31. Anonymous
    February 5, 2013 at 1:31 pm | #31

    Well, yes and no. Officially the county offices (the County Supervisors, Sheriff, DA, etc.) are non-partisan and party affiliation does not appear on the ballot. But the parties do have local committees which can, and often do, make endorsements and support the election of their preferred candidates. And of course which (if any) party the candidate is registered with is a matter of public record.

    In recent years there have been several candidates who were formerly Republicans but then changed their party to Democrat, including Bonnie Neeley and Virginia Bass. And I believe Bohn changed his party affiliation from Republican to Decline-to-State at some point before his candidacy. Clendenen was Decline-to-State when he ran the last time, not sure which (if either) party he had belonged to before that.

  32. HUUFC
    February 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm | #32

    Clif was decline-to-state? Interesting, I thought he was a confused democrat all the time he was sitting as supervisor.

  33. Anonymous
    February 5, 2013 at 2:44 pm | #33

    And all along, I thought this thread was about IHSS workers. Just shows you how everything devolves into the same old Us vs. Them game. Each and every time.

  34. G. Gilbert Yule
    February 5, 2013 at 3:15 pm | #34

    My wife and I attended. Under sunny skies there were probably 100+
    or so people in attendances. Mark Loveless was there mingling with the crowd. Rex Bohn made a very brief appearance up on top of the steps away from the crowd.

  35. Anonymous
    February 5, 2013 at 3:27 pm | #35

    This is an “us” (people who think home health care workers should be paid a wage which more accurately reflects the value they provide, both comfort to the infirm and huge savings by enabling more elderly to live independently for additional years) versus “them” (people who think they shouldn’t make more than minimum wage, people likely to favor abolishing minimum wage, unemployment benefits, medicaid, Social Security and Medicare.

  36. Just Watchin
    February 5, 2013 at 5:44 pm | #36

    Who are the “them” that want to abolish minimum wage,unemployment benefits,medicaid,social security, and medicare?

  37. Anonymous
    February 5, 2013 at 6:00 pm | #37

    Conservatives/libertarian/tea party people.

  38. Anonymous
    February 5, 2013 at 6:01 pm | #38

    er, tea party funding sources more than the rank and file.

  39. Just Watchin
    February 5, 2013 at 6:04 pm | #39

    Anonymous :
    Conservatives/libertarian/tea party people.

    Show some proof that they want to “abolish” all of those programs. And I’m assuming you clearly understand the meaning of the word “abolish”

  40. 24
    February 5, 2013 at 7:25 pm | #40

    i thought it was an “us” (people who think the government should not spend more than they have) and “them” (people who think the government should continue to spend until they are bankrupt) issue.

  41. Eric Kirk
    February 5, 2013 at 9:37 pm | #41

    HUUFC :

    Clif was decline-to-state? Interesting, I thought he was a confused democrat all the time he was sitting as supervisor.

    Most often he votes Democrat, but he has always preferred to be non-party affiliated.

  42. Dan
    February 5, 2013 at 9:39 pm | #42

    Seriously 24? Austerity?
    you are telling us what?
    We’ve hemorrhaged money for unwarranted war,
    Handed bankers billions in bonuses, and now,
    We are tired
    Kick a few billion down for peace and healthy
    infrastructure, before you know it, we’ll be
    Americans again.

  43. 24
    February 5, 2013 at 9:56 pm | #43

    Excuse me, I was previously unaware the county handed money to bankers and waged a war.

  44. Dan
    February 5, 2013 at 11:16 pm | #44

    24, the funding associated with this topic
    is Local, State and Federal. The affect on the County budget
    was as if they handed money to the bankers and waged a war.

  45. 24
    February 6, 2013 at 7:41 am | #45

    If only the Democrats held key political offices…

  46. February 6, 2013 at 9:56 am | #46

    Democrat–Republican–Declined to state— all Americans–

    Lest We forget– Divisiveness Divides– We are the UNITED States;

    Somrtimes relinquish–Sometimes Compromise– But PROGRESS

  47. Just Watchin
    February 8, 2013 at 12:38 pm | #47

    If the minimum wage vote goes thru, does that automatically increase the homeworkers wages to $12 / hour?

  48. Matt
    February 9, 2013 at 5:26 pm | #48

    At the very minimum, these workers should get health benefits. It’s not only mind-boggling but also reprehensible that people who provide health care services do not themselves have health insurance.

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