Local 2015 works to ensure and maximize participation beyond just voting for everyone at every level of government. Together, we will dismantle the policies, systems, and structures that prevent participation, and eliminates structural racism that denies us of our rights.
How Do We Accomplish This?
Members become active participants in their democracy year round to provide continued education to elected officials about the challenges facing long term care workers and our communities; advocating for the solutions required and using the power of their voice and vote to hold elected officials accountable to their commitments. Through this we can work to:
- Equip our Democracy Captains and Member Leaders with the tools and knowledge necessary for us to be effective agents of political and community change.
- Recruit and train long-term care workers to run for office and be leaders in their community.
- Advocate for full participation in our democracy by working to break down barriers and further support the full participation of women, people of color and immigrants in our political process, which includes but is not limited to: increasing voter education, voter registration, voter participation and citizenship.
- Elect champions for long term care, thereby ensuring that all long-term care workers in California are able to live with dignity and respect. Click here to see who and what we are fighting for this election.
What Have We Accomplished So Far?
- Because of our ongoing hard work helping to elect Supervisors who value caregiving to County Boards up and down the state, we’ve won countless wage increases an other improvements in our contracts.
- n 2021, we successfully fought off the 7% cuts to the IHSS program and secured a commitment from the Governor to invest $200 million in IHSS training, recognizing the vital role that home care workers have in taking care of seniors and persons with disabilities.
- When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, we fought for federal paid sick leave for IHSS providers. We continue to work at the federal and state level to make sure our members benefit from historic nationwide investments in long-term care infrastructure and continue to find opportunities to grow in their careers and bargain for better compensation.
- In 2016, the Fight for $15 campaign—fueled by hundreds of thousands of long-term care providers—helped make California the first state in the nation to put all workers on a path to a $15 statewide minimum wage. This law, signed by Governor Brown, included cost of living increases that continue to lift the minimum wage.
- Keeping a promise made when he worked a day with Alameda home care provider and union leader Pauline Beck, President Obama’s Labor Department reinterprets the Fair Labor Standards Act in 2013. For the first time, home care providers are covered by federal minimum wage, overtime and travel time provisions.
- 2010: Governor Schwarzenegger first proposes elimination of California’s IHSS program, later modifying the proposal to cut services for more than 80% of its consumers. Union care providers fight back, resulting in a smaller cut: 7% of care hours.
- One of our first big political victories was the passage of SB 485 in 1992, which established our right to bargain with several of California’s counties. Later in 2000 with AB 1682, this right extended throughout the state.
- In 2022, we won one-time retention bonuses for nursing home workers who battled on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- In 2021, we pushed for greater transparency and accountability in our state’s nursing homes as part of a collaborative effort with a number of other long-term care advocates and won passage of two bills: SB 650 and AB 1042. SB 650 gives the public more information on nursing homes, many of which are privately owned by large for-profit chains that utilize increasingly elaborate corporate structures to hide their finances and shield themselves from oversight. It aims to prevent owners from enriching themselves while their facilities are understaffed, lack supplies, and pay poverty wages. AB 1042 furthers our efforts by closing existing loopholes that nursing facility owners exploit to use “third party payments” to shell companies in order to evade accountability for abuse and substandard care.
- In 2019, we passed AB 1695 to hold nursing home employers accountable when a change of ownership occurs and to protect the existing employees at the facility.
- In 2017, we passed SB 97—the highest staffing requirement in the nation—which raised the minimum staffing standards for direct care workers in skilled nursing facilities in California. Our union continues to explore ways to ensure compliance with these standards and to protect our members from the stresses and risks associated with short staffing.
- In 2004, SEIU long-term care workers in California helped to pass AB 1629, which provided more than $900 million in new funding for California nursing homes.
- In 2014, Governor Brown signs AB 1217, creating licensing requirements for private agencies and a chance for thousands of workers to form their union with us.
Electing Long-Term Allies
- In 2020, SEIU 2015 members volunteered hours to help elect allies in Arizona.
- We also helped elect longtime labor ally Holly Mitchell to the L.A. Board of Supervisors.
- And we successfully pushed to ensure that Los Angeles County has a District Attorney, George Gascón, who is committed to transforming our broken criminal justice system into one that provides real equality under the law for all of us no matter where we live or the color of our skin.
- During the 2018 election cycle, we worked to elect a Governor who shares our priorities for long-term care, and successfully fought off an attempt to recall the Governor and undo the progress and protections we’ve been able to win throughout the pandemic.
- We also focused efforts in key Congressional races across the state, winning several seats for long-term care advocates and sending many allies to Washington, D.C.