Dear SEIU 775 Caregivers,
We have so much right in front of us as we launch our Time for $20 campaign! But to succeed we can’t just look at what is right in front of us, we also have to build a vision for the future. So I’m putting together a committee of members to build a new ten-year vision, and we’ll need all of your help and input in that process.
This won’t be the first time we’ve brought members together to set long-term goals. In 2005, following our “Think Big, Act Big, Win Big” campaign, thousands of home care agency workers in Washington and Montana joined our Union and we established the best training standards in the country. In 2012, our Vision 2022 Committee set new goals for our Union, including lifting caregivers out of poverty and transforming health and long-term care. Since setting those goals, we’ve raised wages for home care workers from $10/hour to an average of almost $18/hr (not counting hazard pay) and helped tens of thousands of workers in Washington and Montana access health care through Medicaid expansion.
But we know that as we have won new victories, caregivers and all working people continue to face big challenges including rising income inequality, institutional racism, and the ongoing pandemic. We will rise to meet these challenges but that starts with a thoughtful and strategic plan and vision.
We officially kicked off our Vision planning during our Leadership Summits in September. And last month, we convened a committee of member leaders and began our regular meetings. Looking forward, we will be:
- Holding a work session during the legislative session with leaders from across our Union
- Sending out surveys to members about their priorities
- Gathering feedback from members during membership meetings
- Voting on the recommendations at Convention in the Fall of 2022
We’re excited to get started and to share updates as we make progress toward building our 10-year plan.
When we link arms and get to work, there’s nothing we can’t do together.
Sterling Harders, SEIU 775 President
SEIU 775’s Leadership
Sterling Harders, President
Adam Glickman, Secretary-Treasurer
Andrew Beane, Vice President
Shaine Truscott, Vice President
Tangie Webb, Vice President
Victoria “Vicki” Bickford
Sherylon “Shelly” Hughes
Wei “Kandie” Luo
Daravadee “Dara” Mann
Manuela “Nelly” Prieto
Danielle “Dani” Rice
Winnifred “Winie” Schafer
Edward “Ed” Solseng
Susan “Susie” Young
2021 SEIU 775 Officer and Executive Board
Our caregivers’ Union has grown so much since we were founded. We’re now over 45,000 caregivers strong and we want our leadership – our officers and Executive Board – to grow as we grow. That’s why SEIU 775 members approved an amendment to expand our leadership by one Vice President and one Executive Board seat this year.
I’m excited to be one of three new Executive Board Members joining our returning Board Members along with Vicki Bickford from Vancouver and Brenda Morgan from Pasco. And I also want to welcome Jackie Keen from Spokane who was appointed by President Sterling Harders to the newly-created Board seat.
I am honored to join an amazing team that cares deeply for caregivers. Being a caregiver for 16 years, I have seen so many changes – wage increases, better benefits, health and safety protections, and so much more – and understand the power of our voice when we unite. The decisions we make as the Executive Board not only affect our caregivers but also the people we care for. Caregivers also voted Tangie Webb as Vice President, and President Harders appointed Shaine Truscott as Vice President to fill the new position.
On behalf of our Executive Board and officers, we look forward to continuing to move our Union forward in our fight for $20 an hour and so much more.
– Dora Poqui, IP, Tacoma, WA
SEIU 775 hits the road with our first Leadership Summits
In September, our Union took our Leadership Conference on the road and held five outdoor Summits in Everett, Chehalis, Tacoma, Spokane, and Yakima. I was joined by tens of caregivers who attended the Everett Leadership Summit where we got everything started with lots of energy, socially-distanced conversation, celebration, inspiring speakers, and so much more. It was a thrill to be in the same space with other Union brothers, sisters, and siblings.
With our theme of ‘This is Why,’ caregivers welcomed each other to one of our first in-person events in more than a year. I got to share my experience with caregivers as part of the Everett ‘This is Why’ panel where I talked about the latest news on HADit, our campaign against the harassment, abuse, and discrimination of caregivers. So many of us worked hard to make HADit happen during the 2020 legislative session, but to see the work being done to make sure caregivers know about our resources and rights and having it in our contracts is huge! It’s wins like these that help remind me why we work so hard as a Union and as caregivers. And to come together to celebrate our strength, even during some of the toughest years, is amazing.
– Melissah Watts, Parent Provider, Seattle, WA
Watch our recap videos: seiu775.org/2021summits
IPs start the move to CDWA
I was part of the first group of IPs to transition to Consumer Direct of WA (CDWA) alongside about 200 others to test the system. All IPs are moving to CDWA, our new legal employer, in the next few months as they are replacing the State of Washington and taking over things like payroll from IPOne. This is a big move, but our wages, benefits, and representation we count on as part of our SEIU 775 Union contract will stay the same and clients will continue to direct their own care.
I, like many others, was a little wary of this move at first, but the transition process wasn’t really hard. My biggest tip for IPs is to pay close attention to your email when it comes to the CDWA transition because it’s important to get all the steps done, so that we get paid on time by CDWA.
There’s also a lot of resources from our Union to help IPs as we move to CDWA including a video with tips from me on what I learned to make the process easier for you on our website.
About 15,000 IPs started the process in November and the rest of our IPs will start in January of 2022.
– Rhonda Parker, IP, Bucoda, WA
Learn more: seiu775.org/CDWA
It’s time for $20 an hour!
As caregivers, we are taking care of another life, and this is incredibly important work. Our jobs of caring for others need to be paid in a way that shows the importance and value of caregiving.
Having higher wages isn’t just about making ends meet. It’s about respect for the work that caregivers do. That’s why our Union has started Time for $20: the campaign to get a starting wage of at least $20 an hour for all long-term caregivers in Washington.
A starting wage of at least $20 an hour will allow caregivers to provide for ourselves and our families, and it’s a huge step towards getting the dignity and respect we deserve.
As the 2022 legislative session begins, we will need to keep fighting to make sure caregivers are treated like the essential workers we are. It’s up to us to keep the pressure up on our elected officials and make sure they hear us loud and clear. We’ll need as many people as possible demanding change this year – because we’re stronger together!
– Miranda Bridges, IP, Moses Lake, WA
Listen to our Time for $20 tele-town hall: seiu775.org/tth