The past 10 months without a contract have been rough on many. After countless actions at the Board chambers, hundreds of phone calls & petitions, and dozens of members speaking up during public comment, it was time to increase the pressure with our Caregiver Campout.
On Monday, September 25, IHSS providers in Sacramento set up camp for two nights outside the Board chambers. Our goal was to make the situation crystal clear to Supervisors: without a livable wage, providers and recipients will be at risk of homelessness. We began the campout with a candlelight vigil and community support from Reverend Tecoy Porter, Sacramento City Councilmember Katie Valenzuela, and Sacramento mayoral candidate Dr. Flo Cofer.
After Fox 40’s coverage of the vigil, it’s undeniable that folks in Sacramento are aware of the Board’s hypocrisy, granting themselves a 36% wage increase while offering home care providers near-poverty wages.
Click below to watch Fox 40’s coverage of our candlelight vigil:
Then, Tuesday morning, the real fun began. With solidarity from our union family and community, we had a strong show of caregivers and allies — increase the magnitude of our voice in the Board chambers! Several brave members addressed the Board directly to explain the urgent need for livable wages. Our voices inside the Board were so powerful that Elk Grove News reported on the action–shedding light on the complete lack of leadership among Sacramento’s Supervisors.
Watch Executive Vice President, Kim Evon, hold County Supervisors accountable:
We continued raising hell as we left the chambers and held an energizing demonstration outside. More community supporters stood in solidarity with us, including City Heights Mayor Porsche Middleton and our allies at the Sacramento Central Labor Council.
During the rally, we highlighted the immediate need for a livable wage without taking away from our healthcare plan. In an interview with Capital Radio, member leader Sabrina Pike points out how current underfunding of the plan has left her on the waitlist to receive benefits for THREE YEARS! Click here to read more about her experience and Capital Radio’s take on the actions.
And in an interview with the Sacramento Bee, member leader Steven Payán calls out the Board’s disingenuity in holding our healthcare hostage, mentioning how Supervisors were able to “creatively” find ways to fund a $1 BILLION prison project while still authorizing their own raise. Check out the full story from the Sacramento Bee by clicking here!
This campout was only successful because of the strength, leadership, and courage of SEIU 2015 members. With so much buzz in the media about caregivers’ struggles, it’s undeniable that the Board now knows loud and clear that the public is watching caregivers hold Supervisors accountable. Further, it goes to show that when caregivers raise their voice, the public listens. That’s why, now more than ever, we need as many caregivers as possible to join us at our next caregiver campout on October 23 in Carmichael and October 24 at the Board’s chambers.
See you there!