SEIU Healthcare 775NW today mourns the loss of Will Parry, President Emeritus of the Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action, and a longtime friend of the union.
Parry, 93, worked for more than seven decades to promote the well-being of low-wage workers, seniors and people with disabilities.
“Will was a champion of homecare workers before there even was a union in Washington,” SEIU 775 Secretary-Treasurer Adam Glickman said. “His enormous contribution to the lives of others will be sorely missed.”
In 2001, Parry, then 81, was instrumental in the passage of I-775, the initiative that gave homecare workers the ability to form a union.
“Will was a warrior for working people for more than seven decades. His leadership, compassion and deep commitment to economic
and social justice was an inspiration to several generations of labor union and progressive activists in the Puget Sound region. He was a highly skilled journalist whose passionate and entertaining writing reached across the country. In recent years he was not only a fierce voice for justice for working people but also became deeply concerned with the threat to our planet posed by the fossil fuel industry. He was an emotional and intellectual leader of PSARA and will be deeply missed,” PSARA President Robby Stern said.
A memorial is planned for June 29. Details are forthcoming.
SPOKANE, Wash. – A group of home-care workers is wishing a happy Mother’s Day to the moms in the Washington congressional delegation – with a twist. It’s part of a national effort to show support for immigration reform.
On Tuesday, Reps. Cathy McMorris Rogers and Jaime Herrera-Beutler received their cards and a visit from members of “Caring Across Generations.” A Spokane home-care worker, Valerie Anderson-Webb, said she spoke with McMorris Rogers a few years ago about the congresswoman’s concerns about providing workers a path to citizenship.
“Now, we are appealing to her as a mother that has children,” she said. “Four years ago, she wasn’t there. I think now, she’s at least thinking about it.”
The Mother’s Day cards urge members of Congress to remember other moms in the state, and to ensure that the legalization process is fair to women, family members and low-wage workers. Cards are also being delivered this week to Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray.
Anderson-Webb said she doesn’t see immigrants competing for current citizens’ jobs. Instead, she said, there’s a caregiving shortage that’s expected to worsen as the population ages. She said many immigrants already provide home-care services for Washingtonians with disabilities and the elderly.
“I believe that everyone’s created equal,” she said. “I really don’t think that they’re ‘illegal’ – because a lot of these people are contributing to society; they’re paying taxes as well as us. And there’s not enough caregivers to go around.”
Anderson-Webb said that in her union, SEIU Healthcare 775 Northwest, members speak 50 different languages. Among their priorities are living wages and creating a career ladder that allows home-care workers to train and transition into careers such as nursing and social work.
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OLYMPIA (April 10, 2013) – SEIU Healthcare 775NW today issued the following statement in response to the House budget proposal for the 2013 – 2015 biennium:
“There now is clear bi-partisan support in both chambers of the Washington legislature to lift home care aides out of poverty by funding the home care contract with parity. If passed, the modest pay raise – just $0.50/hour per year – would be the first for Washington’s 43,000 home care aides since 2008,” said SEIU Healthcare 775NW Secretary-Treasurer Adam Glickman. “We applaud the House Democrats for making long-term services and supports a priority; for funding services for our most vulnerable over tax loopholes; and for their support for expanding Medicaid which will provide quality health coverage to more than 250,000 currently uninsured Washingtonians.
“We thank the House Democrats for rejecting a proposed cut to home care hours. We will strongly oppose cuts to home care services in any budget.
“We now encourage the legislature and the governor to adopt a final budget that funds the home care contract, expands Medicaid, and raises enough revenue by closing tax loopholes to avoid further cuts to the most vulnerable.”
OLYMPIA (April 4, 2013) – A day after the Senate budget was released, home care aides – people who provide front line healthcare for seniors and people with disabilities – today rallied with their managers on the Capitol for more funding to help the state’s most vulnerable.
Home care workers appear to be slipping deeper into poverty, according to a recent survey by a non-profit agency that provides home care services. More than half of home care workers now rely on public food assistance, either food stamps or community food banks, the survey found. The survey also showed an increase in the number of home care workers who are the sole wage earner for their families.
The proposed Senate budget – like the Governor’s – take a modest first step towards lifting caregivers out of poverty, with a $1/hour raise over two years. But the proposal also calls for further cuts to hours of care for home care clients, on top of repeated cuts to home care services over the last four years.
“We provide essentials supports and services to people’s grandparents, brothers, sisters and friends, yet we teeter on the brink of poverty,” said Cynthia Vaughn, a Seattle worker with the Korean Women’s Association and a member of SEIU Healthcare 775NW, the state’s homecare workers’ union. “None of us have had pay raises since 2008. It’s time for the Legislature to invest in seniors and people with disabilities and prevent further cuts to our hours and services.”
Dozens of home care workers and home care agency managers from around the state met with lawmakers Thursday to urge them to support their work by including home care funding in their budget proposals.
About 10,000 home care aides in Washington work for agencies, including Catholic Community Services, Korean Women’s Association, ResCare, Inc., Addus HealthCare Health, CDM Serivces and others. SEIU 775’s 43,000 members provide critical long-term care services to Washington’s most vulnerable residents including about 52,000 seniors and people with disabilities.
OLYMPIA (April 3, 2013) – SEIU Healthcare 775NW today issued the following statement in response to the Senate budget proposal for the 2013 – 2015 biennium:
“On behalf of our 43,000 members and the more than 50,000 seniors and people with disabilities for whom our members provide daily supports and services, we applaud the Senate budget writers for funding the home care contract and helping homecare aides take a modest step out of poverty,” said SEIU 775 Secretary Treasurer Adam Glickman. “We also appreciate their support for expanding Medicaid – there is now a clear bi-partisan consensus for expanding access to affordable healthcare through the ACA and helping home care workers take a step out of poverty.
“We are very disappointed, however, that the Senate budget proposes further deep cuts to hours of home care services to vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities. These cuts – on top of repeated reductions over the last four years – will put the quality of care for our most vulnerable at risk.
“We encourage the legislature to adopt a final budget that funds the home care contract, expands Medicaid, and raises enough revenue through closing tax loopholes to avoid further cuts to the most vulnerable.”
Nursing home workers from across the state visited their legislators to urge them to approve Medicaid expansion to provide quality, affordable healthcare for all nursing home and long-term care workers. Many nursing home workers struggle to afford quality, affordable health coverage. The Legislature should adopt Medicaid Expansion to provide coverage to long-term care workers and our families. The program will include an influx of federal dollars that will result in the state saving $225 million in the current biennium. Plus, the program will create 10,000 new jobs in our state.
#CoverMe Rally sends message to Olympia to fund Medicaid expansion covering more than 250,000 people, saving the state $225 million and adding 10,000 jobs
SEATTLE – More than tourists flocked to Pike Place Market Thursday. Dozens of everyday Washingtonians rallied outside the Pike Market Medical Clinic calling for full implementation of Medicaid expansion, including many SEIU Healthcare 775NW members. “Cover Me,” they chanted, as nearly 100 umbrellas printed with “Cover Me” opened in unison creating a display that rivaled the floral bouquets in the Public Market.
“Just because I work in the service industry doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have health insurance,” said Cassie Cotham, 27, of Seattle, a volunteer with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. She delayed seeking medical care because she was uninsured, but two years ago she became so ill she could no longer work. Cotham was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. “Medicaid expansion would allow people like me to seek necessary medical care and not worry about balancing bills with going to the doctor.”
Cotham isn’t alone. More than 261,000 low-income Washington residents would be covered under Medicaid expansion, if the Legislature acts this session. The expansion would use Federal dollars to expand coverage to thousands of people, would save $225 million dollars and add 10,000 jobs statewide.
“Too often we see people desperately ill in the emergency rooms of our hospitals because they’ve postponed seeking treatment due to a lack of insurance coverage,” said Susan Tekola, a nurse with SEIU Healthcare 1199NW. “We support Medicaid expansion because it makes sense to provide quality coverage for all Washington residents allowing them to enjoy more healthy, productive lives.”
People at the rally wrote messages on two umbrellas which will be delivered to Washington House Speaker Frank Chopp and Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom urging the Legislature to act swiftly.
“We hope our political leaders hear the message that Washington’s bounty should include not just salmon, great coffee and wonderful produce,” said Lynne Treat, of Chehalis. She’s a volunteer with AARP of Washington. She spoke Thursday about the need for people between ages 50 to 64 to have coverage. “All Washingtonians deserve quality health care.”
A recent Elway poll found that two-thirds of state residents support Medicaid expansion. Studies show that people without health insurance have a greater risk of prolonged illnesses, disability and death.
The rally was organized by the Healthy Washington Coalition, which represents a broad range of more than 70 organizations across the state.
OLYMPIA, Wash. (Feb. 28, 2013) – SEIU Healthcare 775NW Secretary-Treasurer Adam Glickman today responded to the Washington State Supreme Court ruling on Initiative 1053.
“We applaud the Supreme Court for upholding the Constitution and finding that it’s unconstitutional to allow 17 senators to block a majority vote to close tax loopholes. We urge the Legislature to adopt common sense measures like extending current taxes and closing unproductive and unaccountable tax loopholes to balance the budget in a sustainable way that funds the quality services voters want,” Glickman said. “We urge lawmakers to help lift caregivers out of poverty by fully finding the homecare aide contract with parity to ensure that our state’s seniors and people with disabilities receive quality support and services.”
Tell the legislature to stand up for caregivers!