SEIU Local 2015 Denounces Trump Administration’s Latest Attack on Working Class People
CALIFORNIA — The Trump Administration has issued a rule aimed at preventing working people from having a say on their paycheck. This rule is the latest coordinated attack against working people, specifically working women of color, who care for seniors and people with disabilities.
The rule released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) targets individual provider home care workers of California’s In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Program and is designed to stop them from choosing to contribute their own wages directly from their paychecks to pay for benefits like healthcare and their union membership dues. This practice, also known as “payroll deduction,” is commonly used by many employees as a way to pay for health insurance or contribute to a retirement plan, and is the way most union members – including teachers, police officers and firefighters – pay their union dues.
Backed by the Administration and billionaire-funded special interest groups, the racist rule is a transparent attempt to interfere with home care workers’ ability to choose to join together in a union and advocate for higher wages, better training, and basic benefits like affordable healthcare and paid sick time that are crucial to ensuring quality home care for seniors and people with disabilities.
“This CMS rule is nothing new,” said April Verrett, President of SEIU Local 2015. “When working class people, especially when they’re people of color, learn how to fight and win for what is right, they become a threat to those who don’t want their status quo disrupted. Home care workers have fought and won improvements to their communities, their working conditions, and their wages because they formed the largest long term care union in the country and the Trump Administration is threatened by that. This is just another pathetic attempt to break up the power of our country’s home care workers.”
Similar attempts to dismantle home care workers’ unions have been tried before, like with court case Harris v. Quinn, and they have failed.
The members of SEIU Local 2015 have been instrumental in the Fight for 15 – making California the first state in the nation to raise its minimum wage that creates a path to earning at least $15 an hour, they have fought for and won bail reform – bringing justice to an in just system, and have brought dignity to the work of long term care and the lives of caregivers.
“We may not be millionaires but we have people power,” said Carmen Roberts, an IHSS Provider from Los Angeles. “We are a strong union and people like Trump and his millionaire buddies are threatened when we come together and we fight for what we deserve. When we fight, we win. And they don’t like that. This latest attack on my union is going to do nothing but bring us together stronger than ever to fight against the CMS rule because we don’t want the federal government to make changes to our paychecks. It’s my pay and it’s my choice where I invest my money.”
SEIU Local 2015 is the largest long term care union in the country with representational responsibility for over 385,000 home care and nursing home workers throughout California.