Statewide Care-a-Van Arrives on Capitol Steps After 13-City Swing in Support of AB 1672—the “Our Care Counts” Bill
Caregivers are leading the way to fix In-Home Supportive Services program that will only become more essential as California’s aging population explodes this decade
WHEN: Thursday, May 11, 2023; activities/visuals at 12:00 noon; program begins at 12:30p
WHERE: State Capitol West Steps
WHO: California’s IHSS caregivers & consumers, Senator Smallwood-Cuevas (D-Los Angeles), Assemblymember Haney (D-San Francisco; bill’s author), Arnulfo de la Cruz, President of SEIU 2015, Doug Moore, Executive Director of UDW
WHAT: Press conference and rally of hundreds of home care workers across
California, fighting to pass the “Our Care Counts” bill—Assembly Bill 1672 (Haney) —that would allow home care providers to use their collective voice to stabilize and strengthen care for hundreds of thousands of older Californians and people with disabilities. The bill would afford care workers the opportunity to transform and strengthen the In-Home Supportive Services program by allowing them to directly negotiate with the Governor’s administration on critical workforce issues including wages and training.
The press conference and rally of hundreds of care providers will cap the statewide “Care-a-Van” bus tour that is mobilizing thousands of care providers and their supporters at campaign events across the state, from Fresno and San Bernardino to San Francisco and San Benito. (See map) (See Care-a-Van schedule)
WHY: The human right to live and age in the setting of one’s choice is at risk because of a workforce crisis in the In-Home Supportive Services program (IHSS). Even before the pandemic, nearly 32 million authorized care hours went unused, indicating that tens of thousands of older Californians and people with disabilities went without needed care, and now an increasing number of caregivers are leaving the work they love because soaring costs of living, inflation, and economic uncertainty make it impossible to stay.
A fragmented system that divides workers’ voices between 56 county agencies has made it increasingly difficult for workers to gain improved standards in the industry, including higher wages and benefits so they can continue their essential work and attract critically needed workers for California’s rapidly aging population and our community members with disabilities.
This legislation, backed by a partnership of SEIU California and United Domestic Workers (UDW), would enable workers to negotiate directly with the State to make changes needed to recruit, train, and retain the home care workforce California needs.