Controversy in the IHSS Community

Listen (28 min)

Carol Keck, Homecare Worker helping to announce the planned ballot measure.

Carol Keck, Homecare Worker helping to announce the planned ballot measure.

The SEIU-UHW union has proposed a November ballot measure affecting home care workers who work under California Medi-Cal programs.

It would
1) Provide home care workers who work under these programs (IHSS) a minimum wage based on the cost of living.

 2) Require and provide 75 hours of paid training for IHSS caregivers. 

John Wilkins at a 2012 rally against state budget cuts to IHSS.

John Wilkins at a 2012 rally against state budget cuts to IHSS.

IHSS is an acronym for In Home Supportive Services.

The proposal was developed without consulting the disability community and some people are pretty hot about it.

 They say it would add a burden on hard-working people who can barely scrape by.  They say, IHSS workers are already trained, by the people they work for.  They say, if this initiative passes, it will be harder than ever to find home care workers.

Connie Barker, taking part in SEIU-UDW's preventative health campaign.

Connie Barker, taking part in SEIU-UDW’s preventative health campaign.

Supporters of the ballot measure say it will raise both the skill level and the pay scale of IHSS workers.  They say it will also give official validation for the skills that many home care workers have attained on the job.   They say current workers have until the end of 2020 to complete the training.

Our guests are both long-time disability advocates. 

John Wilkins is a volunteer home care advocate of 20 years and co-founder/webmaster of the IHSS Coalition

Connie Barker is an IHSS provider and former IHSS client, a long time activist in the Bay Area Chemical and Electrical Sensitivity community, and a current EBoard member with SEIU-UHW.

Together they will parse the arguments and give you the information you need to make up your own mind.

Eddie Ytuarte and Adrienne Lauby produce and host.

Air date: Jan 31, 2014
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