IP’s have won Hazard Pay of $2.56 an hour for all hours worked from July through September! 

We demanded Governor Inslecontinue our hazard pay – and it worked! 

Since the start, caregivers have been at the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. And even though we were able to demand Impact Bargaining with the State and win Hazard Pay for the months of May and June, we knew that we weren’t done fighting for the pay and protections caregivers need and deserve. We heard from caregivers across the state about how vital Hazard Pay is in this time of crisis. 

As you may have heard in our tele-town hall last week, we recently started our regular IP bargaining with the State where we are fighting for a fair new Union contract for all IPsAlthough the State’s initial proposal rejected almost everything we proposed, we have won Hazard Pay of $2.56 for all hour worked from July through September. This is a major win, and would not have been possible without your calls, emails, and texts to Gov Inslee and DSHS. Together, we kept up the pressure and together we won!  

Additionally, IPs received a raise on July 1, thanks to our Union contract! You will see this increase in your August paycheck. Our raise is possible because members used a united voice to get the best state contract! In our contract, all caregivers get raises every 6 months. 

If you don’t see your pay increase in August, call our Member Resource Center at 1-866-371-3200 (8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday). 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 20, 2020

Contact: Nina Jenkins, Nina.Jenkins@seiu775.org, 206-618-6718

Photos available upon request.

WASHINGTON CAREGIVERS TAKE ACTION FOR THE MOVEMENT FOR BLACK LIVES

Nationally, caregivers are primarily Black women, women of color, and immigrants, and the nursing home workforce is disproportionately made up of Black people

SEATTLE, WA – Today, in-home caregivers and nursing home workers represented by SEIU 775 are taking action in support of the Strike for Black Lives and demanding Hazard Pay for being frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Caregivers are proud to support the Strike for Black Lives because Black Lives Matter every day. SEIU 775 supports the demands of Black Lives Matter Seattle King County and Decriminalize Seattle. Racism is a public health crisis in this country and the state of Washington needs to recognize, and lead, in addressing this pandemic.

SEIU 775 President Sterling Harders says, “Caregivers know Black Lives Matter. When caregivers see the lives of Black people being diminished, we are called to take action. We have fought systemic racism since we became a union – and we will not stop. Our work has been undervalued because historically many caregivers were Black women, who remain a large part of the national caregiving workforce. It’s time for the essential health care work of caregivers to be respected. Caregivers are proud to support today’s Strike for Black Lives because Black Lives Matter every day.”

Nationally, caregivers are primarily Black women, women of color, and immigrants, and the nursing home workforce is disproportionately made up of Black people. COVID-19 is hitting these communities the hardest while state programs and facilities are not receiving the funding needed to keep residents and workers safe and cared for.

The statewide action includes caregivers and nursing home workers protesting, sharing their experiences, and supporting local organizations.

Nursing home workers in Yakima – a city with less than four percent of Washington state’s population but almost 15 percent of its COVID-19 cases – are protesting downtown today as part of a national movement in support of the Movement for Black Lives and to demand funding for long-term care facilities like the ones hit hardest by the pandemic. They will be joined by essential workers from SEIU 925, SEIU 1199NW, and other community partners.

“Having enough funding to take care of our residents, and to pay us workers some hazard pay, is a racial justice issue too,” said nursing home worker Bonita Campbell. “They should be paying us fairly for the risks we’re taking to do this work every day during this COVID-19 pandemic. Just this week another employee tested positive in our building. Every day I go to work thinking I could get it. I told my kids for the past month, stay away from me. We should be getting paid hazard pay for this work.”

Overall, at least 279 long-term care facilities in Washington state have had known cases of COVID-19. These facilities have had at least 2,894 cases among residents and staff, resulting in 507 deaths. This means residents and workers in long-term care facilities made up one in five (17%) of all cases in the state and more than half of all COVID-19-related deaths.

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SEIU 775

SEIU 775, the caregivers union, represents more than 45,000 long-term care workers providing quality home care, nursing home care, and residential services in Washington and Montana.

SEATTLE, WA – Members of SEIU 775, the caregivers union, have endorsed fellow healthcare workers, union members, and working people for elected office in the upcoming Washington primary election. The candidates were selected because they are committed to standing for economic justice, racial justice, and a democracy that works for everyone – no exceptions.

SEIU 775 caregivers have chosen to support Black women, women of color, and working people running for legislative, congressional, and statewide positions.

SEIU 775 President Sterling Harders says, “Washington State needs elected officials who will support the people, and SEIU 775 caregivers are proud to endorse a statewide slate that puts essential workers first. Caregivers are often Black women, women of color, and immigrants and we’ve continued to put our clients first during COVID-19 crisis because caregiving is essential, life-saving work. Having elected officials who understand that makes all the difference.”

SEIU International has also endorsed Joe Biden for President of the United States.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how basic rights, like healthcare and jobs with living wages and good benefits, are still out of reach for far too many people and can be ripped away quickly in a crisis. This year has also laid bare so many of the deep-rooted pains we experience as a nation: lack of access to healthcare, structural and systemic racism, and an economy built on the backs of low-wage workers.

The decisions Congress makes in Washington D.C. and legislators make in Olympia impact the quality of caregiver jobs, the opportunities available to our families, and whether our communities have the resources to thrive. We’ve had to fight to get minimum wage, overtime, healthcare, retirement, and more – directly because the laws written to protect workers left caregivers out on purpose. But we have choices about what happens next. We will center equity and justice in what we build by electing working people up and down the ticket who will fight for us.

The full list of SEIU 775 Washington state endorsements can be found at seiu775.org/2020endorsements