The State of Oregon’s Legislature is considering an all-cuts budget for the next two years. We are currently in bargaining with the State, and going backwards is not an option for the kids we care for. We know there is a better way forward than slashing the programs that protect children, education, seniors, and people with disabilities.
Our Union has pointed state lawmakers toward $1 billion in new savings and enhanced revenue – a third of it in efficiencies suggested by frontline workers – than can help the State cover a $3.5 billion budget gap so children and seniors will be spared some of the deepest cuts in the Governor’s proposed “all cuts” budget.
Check out the “Moving Oregon Forward: A Better Way” report issued on behalf of all our members on our website at http://www.seiu503.org/Roadmap_to_a_Better_Way.aspx.
What’s Happening at the Bargaining Table?
On April 11, SEIU Child Care Providers met with DHS Management for our third Bargaining Session. Members of the bargaining team delivered powerful testimony on why our wages are too low, how lack of health insurance affects our ability to give quality care, and how fees associated with the Relia Card are a back-door pay cut. (The Relia Card is a payment card the State intends to issue in place of paper check for those Providers who do not use Direct Deposit, starting in July 2011. This is the same card Oregonian’s use to access their child support and unemployment payments.)
Child Care Bargaining Priorities:
* Fair wages
* Improvements to our Training Program
* Health Care
* Investment in quality care
* The option to have Federal and State tax withholding.
The State is essentially proposing that to keep our current Contract in place for the next two years. They are not proposing pay cuts or other reductions to our Contract. However, the changes they intent to implement to the attendance and billing system may result in fees and additional expenses to Child Care Providers. This is unacceptable and we continue to send that message to the State in bargaining. However, we cannot win on this issue without your help!
How can you help?
Share your story!
Child Care Providers and parents from around the state are filling out story forms to share their story with our law makers about the important work you do. Story Forms were mailed out last week, so check your stack of mail! You can download a replacement story form or contact your organizer 1(800) 452-2146. Please fill out the ReliaCard Survey to share your experience if you have used it in the past to access Child Support or Unemployment payments.
Please share your experience with the Resource and Referral Network trainings and classes in your area. How have the classes you’ve attended helped you in the work you do? Are you in a rural community? How has that affected your ability to register and attend child care trainings?
Attend a Ways and Means Road Show
The Ways and Means Committee, the legislative committee that determines the budget, is holding community forums at four locations statewide. Child Care members are planning on showing up in record numbers to send out the message that during hard economic times we need to make important investments in Oregon’s children. See Below for more information.
Friday April 22nd
Medford Armory 5-7pm
Friday April 29th
OSU Cascade Campus, Cascade Hall 4-6pm
Friday May 6th
OSU Hatfield Marine Science Ctr., Hennings Auditorium 4-7pm
Participate in a Statewide Action on May 20th
Join fellow union members and community allies as we rally for a better way forward to save the essential services we provide.
When & Where: Friday, May 20 @ 11:30 am on the steps of the Capital in Salem. Sign up today at http://seiu503.seiu.org/page/signup/a-better-way-for-oregon or by calling your organizer at 1 (800) 452-2146.
Your Child Care Bargaining Team,
Portia Moye, Portland
Molly Stafford, Roseburg
Renee Cripe, Roseburg
Marvel Smith, Portland
Larry Caird, Springfield
Kassaundra Nichols, Baker City
Natalie Jackson, Medford
Jennifer Schmidt, Riddle
Wanda Winne, Portland
Kimberly Cole, Medford
Enrique Luna, Salem
Debra Olson, Salem
Rebekah Whittaker, Chief Negotiator
Andrea Utz, Organizer