Across the world on May 1, workers celebrated International Worker’s Day. Commemorating a Chicago strike in 1886, for an 8-hour work day, May 1st has come to represent a day of celebration for many, where workers participate in parades, festivals, and rallies.
Thousands rallied in Seattle on May Day to demand better protections for workers around the world and for comprehensive immigration reform.
International Worker’s Day 2013 takes on additional special meaning this year, as the drumbeat for immigration reform gets louder and louder.
SEIU locals and allies throughout the country are taking to the streets! Add your voice to the conversation on Twitter using hash tag #TimeIsNow.
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.
March 14, 2013 – SEIU Healthcare 775NW members joined dozens of others outside the Pike Market Medical Clinic to call for full implementation of Medicaid expansion. “Cover Me,” they chanted, as nearly 100 umbrellas printed with “Cover Me” opened in unison. 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.
Watch news coverage of the rally!
Tell the legislature to stand up for caregivers!
In a show of force for home care workers and our clients, SEIU Healthcare 775NW members from across the state blanketed the state Capitol with demands to lift caregivers out of poverty.
“We are not going to be done until you never have to take a vow of poverty to be a caregiver in this state,” SEIU Healthcare 775NW president David Rolf told members before they began lobbying. “We don’t give up, we hang together, we stay strong and we come back until the fight is over.”
In face-to-face meetings, members pressed more than 120 legislators to fund our contract, restore home care hours, ensure parity for agency home care workers and provide health insurance for all Washingtonians.
“We perform essential jobs, yet we barely earn more than minimum wage,” said Pam McCarty, a home care worker from Centralia. “It doesn’t have to be this way—it’s time legislators fund our contract … and the only way we can assure that is for all of us to write our legislators.”
CLICK HERE to add your voice to the hundreds of members who told their legislators to stand up for home care workers and the critical services we provide.
“Voters recognize the need to lift caregivers out of poverty,” SEIU 775 Secretary-Treasurer Adam Glickman said. “Our members will continue to fight tirelessly until all caregivers – individual providers, agency workers and nursing home aides – earn a living wage; and these jobs are transformed into viable careers.”
“Our legislators were really impressed that members came from all over our legislative district,” said M. “Honeybee” Burns, a home care worker from Port Townsend. “Now we need to make keep the pressure on by making sure they hear from members who couldn’t make it to Olympia.”
Our members’ actions were covered by several media outlets; click to link below to see coverage from the ABC affiliate in Tri-Cities:
There’s excitement in the air!
On Thursday, more than 300 caregivers will lobby one-on-one with more than 130 legislators, urging them to support bills that would restore home care hours, fully implement Medicaid expansion and fund our contract.
If you can’t make it, you can help by CLICKING HERE. Your simple action will send an email urging your legislators to support home care workers and the critical services we provide.
This is just the beginning.
We’ll continue to fight tirelessly until all caregivers earn a living wage, and clients and caregivers alike get the dignity and respect we deserve. By telling the stories of people we care for and the hard work that we do, we hope to encourage all lawmakers to support our IP contract and agency parity.
Will you stand with us as we take our message to the Legislature? CLICK HERE to urge your legislators to support home care workers and the critical services we provide.
We’ll miss you in Olympia on Lobby Day. Please let your legislators know you’d be here if you could!
It’s been an exciting week in Olympia. From Governor Jay Inslee getting sworn into our first Purple Presence day of the year, SEIU members have hit the ground running.
Everywhere around the state capitol, there’s purple. It’s so inspiring!
Check out this video of SEIU members talking about what it’s like going to Olympia to stand up for caregivers:
Be a part of it! Click here to sign up for a Purple Presence day in Olympia: http://775nw.seiu.org/page/s/purplepresence