FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Melissa Uribe, MelissaU@seiu2015.org, (213) 590-9091 (English/Spanish)
Faith Leaders Join San Bernardino County Caregivers in Urging County Leaders to Support Veterans, Seniors, and People with Disabilities
Faith leaders from throughout San Bernardino County joined In-Home Supportive (IHSS) caregivers of SEIU 2015 in urging the county to address the growing need to fill the gap in vital care for veterans, seniors, and people with disabilities by lifting the wages and benefits of IHSS caregivers.
IHSS caregivers are in the process of negotiating a new contract with the county. Currently these workers make minimum wage and the county is offering no wage increase. They are fighting for a contract that affords them a livable wage and benefits so that they can make ends meet and continue providing vital care to the county’s most vulnerable population.
Pastor Georgia Brown from Glorious Praise Ministry stated the following:
“No one plans for their family to go through any traumas or [become] disabled but the bad part about it is once these things happen you have to take off your job to take care of your parents or your child or whoever and you [may] not [be] able to keep a home over your head and become homeless. We don’t want that to happen. So we are asking that you would please consider a contract agreement with a wage increase for the IHSS providers. No one knows what tomorrow holds. We can be as Pastors and pray for a miracle but the miracle we need is money. We need increases. We need finances.”
Pastor Benjamin Briggs from Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement (COPE) stated the following:
“Part of my mission with COPE the organization that I represent is that we have a mandate to be a voice for those and to provide support for those who are the least among us. And I think that the compassion and the thoughts of this County Board of Supervisors would suggest that they would take this very seriously and want to do everything whatever they can to right this egregious wrong. We just simply don’t want the children to suffer. We don’t want the workers to suffer. And we don’t want people coming to work taking care of no other people when they can’t take care of their basic needs. This is a tremendous situation that needs to be corrected. I know that in terms of economics there are a lot of decisions to make and al lot priorities to set. But how can we look in the face of these individuals and tell them we can’t help them. I dont think thats acceptable and I don’t think that you think it’s acceptable either. So let’s partner together. I am willing to sit down with you and we can come up with ideas. We can make a difference and make a change for the better.”
As caregivers plan their next bargaining session with the county on December 12, 2018, they will continue attend Board of Supervisors meetings and lobby county leaders to change their tone and response at the table.
“San Bernardino County needs to represent the needs of the constituents,” said Sergio Donis, Regional Director for SEIU 2015’s San Bernardino chapter. “The county continues to turn its back on workers, like the IHSS caregivers, who are struggling to make ends meet with poverty wages. We look forward to a more productive response from San Bernardino County at our upcoming session.”
Faith leaders joined San Bernardino’s IHSS caregivers in their march for justice to the Board of Supervisors meeting
Faith leaders and seniors and people with disabilities and their caregivers at the Board of Supervisors office
Representing over 385,000 home care, skilled nursing facility, and assisted living center workers, SEIU Local 2015 is the largest Local in California.
Our members represent every race, every faith, and every ethnicity but are united in their commitment to caring for California’s most vulnerable; seniors and the disabled.
It is our mission to unleash the collective power of long term care workers, their families, and their communities; harness the power of technology; and, build a broad movement to disrupt the unjust status quo in order to bring lasting transformational change towards a more just society for all.