Ensuring a stable long-term care workforce is one of the best budget decisions we can make.

Home care workers in Washington State care for more than 60,000 elderly and adults with disabilities by providing an array of services that meet non-medical and basic health needs. By financing in-home care for the most vulnerable among us, Washington State saves nearly $3,000 annually on every person receiving home care and enables thousands of Washingtonians the ability to live with dignity.

Financing Long-Term Care Services

Investing in home care now helps Washington State prepare for the growing demand for health and basic services as the Baby Boomer generation ages. The care delivered by long-term care workers is essential to maintaining the overall health and well-being of Washington’s aging population and residents living with disabilities.

The 2017 Individual Provider Contract with Agency Parity

Funding the Individual Provider contract with parity for agency home care is a significant step in averting the long-term staffing and budget crisis that is anticipated to occur by 2040.

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Improving wages and benefits for home care workers will stabilize the workforce and make it easier for vulnerable residents to get care in their own homes rather than more expensive health care options.

Our new IP contract will establish a foundation for paying living wages, encouraging community-based care, and improving caregiving services through additional professional training and funding for critical safety equipment. 

Supporting the Long-term Care Workforce

According to a Fall 2016 report entitled, Raising Incomes for Home Care Workers Would Boost Economy by the Washington State Budget Policy and Center, the average home care worker earns about $12.81 an hour, which equates to $10,540 annually. These wage levels have created an economic barrier for thousands of caregivers that prevents them reinvesting earnings back into small businesses and their communities.

 “Too many long-term care workers are living below the federal poverty level while working full-time. Most do not make a living wage.”

Our new IP contract includes a phased-in increase to living wages for all caregivers, which will lead to higher job satisfaction rates and lower turnover. Supporting better wages and benefits for caregivers will strengthens the workforce, making it easier for the growing number of senior to find quality long-term care service providers in the state.

Hello Friends,

This year, more than ever, caregivers must stand together to demand just treatment and equality for all home care workers and their families.

We are standing up to fund our new contract, to protect our health care and the rights of the thousands of immigrant caregivers who are members of our union.

One of those caregivers, an immigrant from Somalia, joined Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s lawsuit against the new administration’s executive order on immigrants and refugees. Yasmiin* – and all of us – won a victory Thursday when the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the Temporary Restraining Order preventing the new prohibitions on travel and refugees from going into effect.

After immigrating from Somalia in 2001, Yasmiin settled in Seattle to build a home and life for herself, her husband, and their young children. For more than a decade, she has been proud to work as a caregiver for disabled and elderly clients. Washington is their home.

While Yasmiin and two of her children are US citizens, her husband and other children are legal residents. She worries about the safety of her children whenever they are away from home. Yasmiin especially fears for the safety of her four daughters.

As she said in the court pleadings:

“If they can treat people with green cards and visas the way they treated these people, who knows if they will come after naturalized citizens next? No one is safe.”

 

Yasmiin is not alone.

As we move forward, our union will continue to work tirelessly to protect the rights and families of all long-term care workers.

 

In solidarity,

Adam Glickman

Secretary-Treasurer

As you know, we’ve negotiated a retirement benefit for SEIU 775-represented homecare workers — this benefit is the first of its kind in the nation!  On February 24, 2017, the Board of Trustees of the SEIU 775 Secure Retirement Trust adopted and established the SEIU 775 Secure Retirement Plan effective as of March 1, 2016.  To read the entire notice click here.  We will be mailing members a copy of the Summary Plan Document in the coming months and will have more updates about the Secure Retirement Trust throughout 2017!

To learn more about the Plan click here.

From Spokane to Tacoma, Parent Providers gathered in Olympia on January 30th to meet with dozens of state legislators. Our members told their stories about the need to support respite care relief and our IP Contract.

Rep. Stanford met with Parent Providers and their children and listened to the need of caregivers living in the 1st District.
Rep. Stanford met with Parent Providers to learn more about the needs of caregivers living in the 1st District.

Washington legislators from both sides of aisle listened to caregivers when they told their stories. We demanded fair compensation and better access to respite care.

When we tell our stories, we stand together. Let’s #FundWAHomeCare!!

Couldn’t make it? Don’t worry. You can join the scores of Parent Providers who were in Olympia advocating for our families and ourselves.

CLICK HERE to send an email to your legislators.

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