Adult Foster Homes

Who we are…
SEIU Local 503 represents approximately 3500 commercial and relative adult foster home providers who provide Medicaid services in their homes to low-income seniors and people with physical, mental, and developmental disabilities. Services are provided 24/7 and include activities of daily living, such as bathing, grooming, mobility, toileting, feeding, medication management and cognition. Adult foster home owners provide services that allow their residents to live in a comfortable home setting with a sense of independence and dignity.


AFH Workers Reach Tentative Agreement

We are excited to announce that we’ve reached a tentative agreement on our AFH contract.
Coming into bargaining last week we were disappointed with the State’s latest proposal which was divisive and would have only given increases to APD providers, meaning a rate freeze for both DD and AMH providers. We asked providers like you what they thought of the State’s proposal and the overwhelming response was clear: We needed to fight for a settlement that gave all provider types an increase.
The team fought hard for a creative settlement that was fair to all provider types, while still pushing the state to invest in APD. We are proud of the settlement, which included:
  • A 2% rate increase for all DD providers effective July 1, 2018.
  • A 3% rate increase for all AMH providers effective July 1, 2018.
  • A 2% rate increase for all APD providers effective February 1, 2018 and another 4.5% increase effective January 1, 2019.
Other non-economic highlights included:
  • Improvements around Union representation, with the State agreeing to our request for more transparency as it relates to investigations and the investigation process.
  • An agreement from the State that they will modify OARs to allow providers to hire staff on a preliminary basis while they wait for background check approval. This will allow AFH providers to start supervised training of new staff immediately, instead of having to waiting 4-6 weeks to start someone due to the backlog in the background check system.
  • Transparency on which OARS you must follow if you have residents who fall outside your home licensing types.
  • Improved transparency and information during abuse and neglect investigations, including the State’s responsibility to notify the provider of abuse or any allegations opened against them, and the nature of the investigation as legally required.
  • A clear and consistent process that ensures AMH providers will get resident services authorized in a timely manner, avoiding loss of payments.
  • Language that will ensure a resident’s support plan matches their assessment.
  • In order to be in compliance with FLSA standards, providers can apply for variances to the 5 day a week resident manager requirement.

The next step in making the hard fought wins in these contract negotiations final is by voting yes to ratify the contract. Please stay tuned for next steps on how and when you can vote on the contract.

Please keep in mind that you must be a member of the Union to vote on the ratification of the contract. If you are not yet a member, please click on this link to begin the process.

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AFH bargaining update

We continue to make some progress on non-economic concerns while we wait for the state budget to be finalized. As you know, the State is facing a huge budget shortfall, and we are working hard to protect AFH providers and prevent cuts to our programs.

Highlights in our negotiations so far include:

  • An agreement from the State that they will modify OARs to allow providers to hire staff on a preliminary basis while they wait for background check approval. This will allow AFH providers to start supervised training of new staff immediately, instead of having to waiting 4-6 weeks to start someone due to the backlog in the background check system.
  • Transparency on which OARS you must follow if you have residents who fall outside your home licensing types (for example, which APD OARs a DD licensed provider is expected to follow if they accept an APD resident).
  • Improved transparency and information during abuse and neglect investigations, including the State’s responsibility to notify the provider of abuse or any allegations opened against them, and the nature of the investigation as legally required.
We are continuing to push on the following non-economic issues:
  1. A clearer and more consistent process for AMH providers to gain timely authorizations for their residents. This includes AMH providers receiving payment when authorization is delayed through no fault of their own (for example, when a delay or mistake is made by Kepro, OHA, the CCO, or the case manager).
  2. Improve the process for the period of time providers have to wait between a requested reassessment and its completion, especially when the resident requires increased staffing supports.
  3. Better language on what information people get about assessments, including initial and final versions.

Unfortunately, real revenue won’t move forward this session due to roadblocks put up by big corporations and Republican senators in the Legislature. We’re doing what we can to secure additional funding—including short-term revenue streams that can mitigate cuts and fund the best possible rates for providers.

The budget is expected to be finalized this week. Please make one last call and ask your legislator to raise revenue and stop the cuts. Click here to tell your representatives to pass a budget that supports AFH providers!

Please stay tuned for more information and continue to follow our progress through these important negotiations.

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Addus Bargaining Update: Invest in front line care providers!

Our SEIU bargaining team met with Addus management on August 3 and 4, and we still have not reached an agreement for a new union contract. Main issues are down to wages and healthcare—and making sure Addus

Members of the 2015 SEIU 503 Addus Bargaining team.

Members of the 2015 SEIU 503 Addus Bargaining team.

invests in front line caregivers with the new state funding they are receiving.

Earlier this year, we did our work at the state capitol to lobby the legislature for more funding and we were successful. Our Union has been instrumental in Addus receiving increased state funding for four years in a row. Even though they will be seeing more money, Addus is still holding out on us on fair wages, and we need to make sure that money goes toward front line caregivers.

According to bargaining team member Lorna Burnell, “As a long time employee of Addus, I can’t believe we’re being treated like this. This is so disappointing and frustrating that Addus won’t agree to fair wage increases that would bring us closer to what other union workers doing the same work across the state are getting paid.”

Addus management also put a proposal on health care across the table that we feel might be illegal and not in compliance with healthcare laws. Bargaining team member Coleen Lawson said, “How can Addus Management think they can get away with breaking the law? I have to follow the laws in my daily life. How can they value their employees so little that management would rather break the law and pay fines than provide affordable health care to the care providers that are their employees?”

Our next bargaining dates are August 31 and Sept 1.

Our Bargaining Team (Sherriel Stiles, Lorna Burnell, Alexxa Gambaro, Debbie Crenshaw, Charlene Morgan-Stewart, Coleen Lawson and Tammy Scroggins) will be making calls to reach out to members asking for your support and letting you know how you can be involved.

Here’s one way you can show your support and get involved RIGHT NOW:
Click here to sign a petition to support your bargaining team in getting fair wages and affordable healthcare.

Your Addus Bargaining Team
Sherriel Stiles, Eugene
Coleen Lawson, Salem
Charlene Morgan-Stewart, Medford
Lorna Burnell, Eugene
Tammy Scroggins, Salem
Debbie Crenshaw, Medford
Alexxa Gambaro, Eugene

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AFH Bargaining: Some Progress…Some Set-backs

SEIU 503 AFH Bargaining Team members in discussion.

SEIU 503 AFH Bargaining Team members in discussion.

We were excited to continue momentum from our previous bargaining session towards settling a fair contract for all providers. We were especially encouraged by the major gain we made in standardizing and improving the Criminal Background Check process.

Unfortunately, we need to report a big set-back from last week’s negotiations. The State informed us that they believe AMH providers will no longer be part of the bargaining unit (ie, covered by the SEIU contract) starting in July of 2017 when CCOs take over payment. We are proud that our Bargaining Team sent a strong message back that this is unacceptable given how late we are in the bargaining process. We are having our legal team review this issue carefully.

Our message to the state was:

  • What is their solution?
  • We stand united as providers, no matter our licensing type!

We know that the work we do as AFH providers is important and we want to continue to provide quality care for the people we serve–and make it easier for providers to do the work we love. We still have critical negotiating to do and we hope you stay involved and informed as we proceed.

Be the first to know! Our bargaining team is so close to settling our contract. Click here to sign up for text message alerts and be the first to know when we’ve reached a settlement! Our next bargaining session is August 10th. Please stay tuned for more updates!
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Progress at the AFH bargaining table

After sharing initial proposals with the State, our AFH Bargaining Team is working hard to make progress towards our new contract.AFH Bargaining team delegation at HSB June 12, 2015

We’ve reached four tentative agreements and are hoping to agree on proposals we made that would make it easier for providers to do the work we love.

On June 12 a delegation of AFH providers–along with hundreds of other care providers–gathered at the DHS Headquarters in Salem to demand that our voices be heard. As AFH providers, we were specifically asking that the State’s Bargaining Team remove their “Force Majeure” proposal from our bargaining table as it is anti-union and would suspend our Collective Bargaining Agreement (i.e., our contract) if there was any state of emergency whether economic or environmental. It was exciting to be around so many other care providers and know that we are in this together and fighting for our residents and for our homes!

We know that the work we do as AFH providers is important and we want to continue to provide quality care for the people we serve—our most vulnerable citizens. We still have a lot to negotiate at the bargaining table and we hope you stay involved and informed as we proceed.

Our next bargaining session is July 16. Please stay tuned for more updates!

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Here’s what’s happening at your AFH bargaining table!

Our AFH Bargaining Team has made initial proposals with the State and we are making progress towards our new contract.

We reached two tentative agreements and put forth new proposals that would make it easier for providers to do the work we love.

Some highlights of the proposals we have presented include:

  • Fair cost of living increases for all providers and increases to the 1:1 and 2:1 rates.
  • A statewide criminal background check procedure that would be no cost to the provider, time efficient and give preliminary approval for staff.
  • Retirement plan that would be set up by the state and voluntary for the provider.

For more details on the proposals and the State’s responses, please click here.

We know that the work we do as AFH providers is important and we want to continue to provide quality care for the people we serve–our most vulnerable citizens. We still have a lot to negotiate at the bargaining table and we hope you stay involved and informed as we proceed.

Our next bargaining session is June 10. Stay tuned for more updates!

 

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Free Trainings and Free CEUs through Oregon Care Partners!

Thanks to the outpouring of support from providers like you, this spring the Oregon Legislature refunded the FREE statewide Training Initiative, Oregon Care Partners (OCP)! This means that we will continue to provide NO COST high-quality trainings across the state for Oregonians looking to improve their knowledge and skills as caregivers.

During our first year, we hosted free trainings from Medford to Newport, Eugene to La Grande – and we met thousands of providers like you who were glad to find much-needed training, resources, and support. By June, 2015, OCP trained an outstanding 9,025 caregivers statewide!

Trainings have been specifically designed for staff in long term caregiver settings, including Adult Foster Care, RNs, LPNs, CNAs, CMAs, Administrators, Social Workers, Pharmacists, and Physicians. All caregiver trainings offered by Oregon Care Partners are FREE and open to the public.

Approved, free, CEUs for all APD providers! Training topics include:

  • Challenging Behaviors in Non-Dementia Populations
  • Alzheimer’s and Dementia
  • Medication Management

Click here for more information on training topics, class locations and dates.

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Important information for AFH providers on new federal rule

New Federal Rule.  The federal government released a new rule earlier this year that will impact adult foster homes across three Oregon service systems:  Addictions and Mental Health, Aging and People with Disabilities and the Office of Developmental Disability Services.  Implementation will phase-in over five years.  All providers must be in compliance with the new rule by July 1, 2019.

Resident Rights.  The goal of the new federal rule is to ensure that our residents enjoy the greatest personal autonomy possible.  Accordingly, resident rights must include the following:  (a) privacy in sleeping or living units; (2) lockable entrance doors, with the individual and appropriate staff having keys to doors as needed; (c) a choice of roommates for those sharing units; (d) freedom to furnish and decorate sleeping or living units as the resident chooses; (e) freedom and support to control one’s own schedule; (f) individual control of one’s activities and access to food at any time; (g) visitors at any time; and (h) the setting is physically accessible to each resident.

We will clearly experience big changes in how we operate our foster homes in order to meet the new federal requirements.  Each resident right is not, however, absolute.  For example, while diabetes is not an acceptable reason to limit access to food, a particular individual’s eating disorder may qualify for a modification of the 24-7 access-to-food requirement.

Individual Modification of Resident Rights.  Any modification to these requirements for provider-owned home and community-based residential settings must be supported by a specific assessed need and justified in the person-centered service plan.  Documentation includes:  (1) specific individualized assessed need; (2) prior interventions and supports including less intrusive methods; (3) description of condition proportionate to assessed need; (4) ongoing data measuring effectiveness of modification; (5) established time limits for periodic review of modifications; (6) individual’s informed consent; and (7) assurance that interventions and supports will not cause harm.

Stakeholder Group.  The Oregon Department of Human Services and the Oregon Health Authority created a Home and Community-Based Services Transition Stakeholder Group.  Two stakeholder meetings have been held to date.  Chief Steward Roxanne Hazen-Sharp (an APD provider) and I (president of our local and a mental health provider) have attended both of these meetings.  Member Robert Nash (a developmental disabilities provider) will join us at future stakeholder meetings. SEIU representatives will attend future meetings to ensure that our needs are considered throughout this process.

Oregon Draft Transition Plan and Global Scorecard.  What role can providers play in the upcoming changes to the manner in which we operate our foster homes?   We can offer our comments.  The State of Oregon is required to submit a transition plan to the federal government in October.  A draft of Oregon’s Home and Community-Based Services Setting Transition Plan and an internal, initial evaluation of all settings licensed by AMH and by DHS’ Office of Licensing and Regulatory Oversight (OLRO) on behalf of APD and ODDS are available  for your review at:   http://www.oregon.gov/dhs/dhsnews/Pages/hcbs-transitionplan.aspx.  The State must receive our comments no later than October 5, 2014 in order to finalize the Transition Plan and submit it to the federal government on time.  Please email your comments to hcbs.oregon@state.or.us or send via postal mail to :

HCBS Transition Plan Comments
500 Summer Street NE, E09
Salem, Oregon 97301

Our ultimate compliance with this new law is essential.  Should the State of Oregon fail to comply, the state will lose federal matching funds–and currently over 60% of our service pay is federal matching money.

Thank you for your kind (and prompt!) attention to this matter.

In Unity,

Michael Jones
President

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Protecting residents from financial exploitation

Protecting residents from  financial exploitation:  A manual for assisted living and nursing facilities (pdf download)

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We’re on the move! Sign up for the SEIU Local 503 Campaign to Build Voter Power

This summer, SEIU care providers will once again take the state by storm! From Bend to Lincoln City and Eugene to Medford, care providers are planning to reach out to fellow workers to sign them up for membership, build political power through our union’s political fund (CAPE), register voters in key legislative districts, and invite them to volunteer with our union. In 2012, 39 member leaders participated in the blitzes, and together we knocked on 2,011 doors, signed up 254 new members and 202 CAPE contributors, and registered 92 new voters through weekend visits to communities across the state.

Will you join us? Whether you can come out for the whole weekend or just devote a day or a few hours, it all makes a big difference. We’ll feed you, train you and pair you up with someone who has knocked on doors before. Lodging provided for folks traveling more than 75 miles. Blitzes scheduled throughout the state on weekends: Fridays and Saturdays, 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Register here to participate: http://seiu503.seiu.org/page/s/2014blitz

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