We are excited to announce that we reached a Tentative Agreement on our contract re-opener last week!
Our priorities for these negotiations were to make the renewal process easier for providers, to make it easier for providers to access our Safety & Quality Enhancement fund, and to win rate increases for all providers, but with a special emphasis on closing the gap between rural and urban areas. Despite a challenging State budget, we were able to meet these goals and win a good contract for providers.
Highlights of the agreement include:
Look for more updates in your mailbox soon!
Now that the legislative session has ended and the budget is set, we are back at the bargaining table to negotiate rate increases for child care providers.
While we are disappointed that legislators did not pass revenue reform this year, we successfully fought back against proposed reductions to the ERDC program and secured some funding for our contract. On July 12, the State presented a proposal to raise our rates by 1.5% on January 1, 2018. Their proposal also included $200,000 in funding to provide free classes to providers through the Resource and Referral network.
We’re pleased to see some money on the table, and we’re glad the State recognizes the importance of free training for child care providers. But now we need to make sure that the available funding goes as far as possible. We know child care providers are used to doing a lot with a little, so we need to hear from you! What training classes would you like to see added or expanded? What would a rate increase mean to you and your family? Click here to share your story!
We meet with the State again on July 27, and we’re looking forward to a productive session and winning fair rate increases for providers!
In addition to our wins at the table, providers and families won big in the legislature this year. Thanks to hundreds of SEIU 503 members’ emails, calls, and in-person meetings with legislators, we passed House Bill 2015. This law improves families’ access to affordable child care, increases stability for parents who qualify for subsidies, and invests in rate increases for providers.
These wins are only possible because child care workers like us have chosen to stand strong together in our union. If you aren’t already a member, please click here to become a member today!
In the coming weeks, our bargaining team will be calling with more details and information about how you can vote on this exciting contract. We’re looking forward to talking with you soon!
Our Child Care bargaining team was back at the table last week for our fourth bargaining session. We now have all of our proposals on the table. This week, we proposed some ideas to raise standards for all Oregonians. Because we work with low-income families, we know how hard it is for families to get by these days. We proposed raising the Oregon minimum wage to $15 an hour to give working families an opportunity to get ahead—not just get by. We also demonstrated our support for banning the box that asks about criminal history on job and housing applications. We know that banning the box is an effective strategy to ease hiring barriers and create fair chances for all people to get back to work.
We introduced a proposal that would ensure all Child Care providers who care for three children would earn the Oregon minimum wage, which is currently $9.25 an hour. Under this proposal, providers caring for fewer than three children would have their hourly rate pro-rated to $3.09 per child. Our proposal would ensure that Child Care providers get a raise whenever the Oregon minimum wage goes up. We believe caring for children is one of the most important jobs, and we know providers deserve to be paid at least the minimum wage for this work. Our proposal also included differentials for providers caring for infants and children with special needs. This is an exciting proposal because it would eliminate the complex rate structure that means some providers make less for doing the same work.
Currently, we have a number of proposals on the table and are waiting for a response from the State. We have high hopes that we will make a lot of progress in our next session on June 26, especially given the exciting things happening in the legislature. Right now, the legislature is discussing HB 2015, a bill which would make a huge investment in Oregon’s child care program and would help fund the improvements we are fighting for both at the table and in the Capitol.
“Our bargaining team is working hard to represent all providers and the families we serve because we believe in this program. But we can’t do it alone. We’re encouraging folks to get involved and help us win the best contract we can. You can support our efforts by contacting your legislators today and urging them to support HB 2015.” – Kim Cole, Bargaining Team Member
Your Child Care Bargaining Team
Kassaundra West Nichols, Baker City
Kimberly Cole, Medford
Jennifer Schmidt, Riddle
Portia Moye, Portland
Wanda Winne, Vancouver
Natalie Jackson, Ashland
Teri Bender, Medford
Sarah Lanius, SEIU 503 Staff
Sun Strait, SEIU 503 Staff
Our Child Care bargaining team had our third bargaining session with the State this week. We felt this session was very productive, and we are on the right track to win improvements for providers as well as the families we serve.
We reached several tentative agreements and put forth new proposals that would make it easier for providers to do the work we love. We proposed that the State reimburse providers for the costs of background checks and fingerprinting, put forth a provision that would ensure providers are paid for care provided while background checks are being processed, and proposed that providers who work evenings, weekends, and holidays be paid a differential. We know child care is a 24-hour a day job, and families don’t just need us between 9am-5pm! It’s important that providers are recognized for the crucial role we play in helping Oregonians go back to work.
We know that we come to the bargaining table as equals with the State representatives, and this is our chance to make our voices heard. We feel that our work is being validated and we are being respected for the work we do. But we also know there is a long way to go to ensure that parents have access to quality, affordable child care.
You can support our efforts to get a strong contract and make improvements to the Child Care program by becoming a member. To join today, call 800.452.2146 and ask to speak to the organizer for your area!
Our next bargaining session is June 2. Stay tuned for more updates!
Child care providers were in the state capitol on March 4 speaking to their legislators! The providers shared stories about their work with children and families, and asked their legislators to pledge their support to the bill that Speaker Kotek has sponsored that would expand the ERDC program in ways that would provide stability for families and children and allow more families to be covered by the program.
The Employment Related Day Care program (ERDC) helps eligible low-income working families pay for child care. This helps parents to stay employed, and children to be well cared for in stable child care arrangements. ERDC helps approximately 20,000 Oregon families pay for child care for approximately 35,000 children each year. ERDC also works with providers and other child care partners across the state to help families find and keep good child care, improve the availability of quality child care in Oregon, and to develop resources for parents and child care providers.
House Bill 2015 would make it so that working families who qualify for subsidy-based child care don’t have to worry about losing it for a year if their job or salary changes. It also would make self-employed parents and parents who are enrolled in course work eligible for child care.
Legislators need to hear your perspective from the front lines, not just the voices of corporate lobbyists. Our stories will help ensure all Oregonians, including SEIU 503 members, have a fair shot to get ahead. Come tell your story and stand up for a strong budget that prioritizes both our workers who keep Oregon running and the Oregonians who rely on us. Sign up here to tell your story at the Capitol!
Our elected Child Care Bargaining Team met with the State yesterday to begin bargaining our new contract. In this brief meeting, we exchanged proposals on ground rules for bargaining and set dates for future negotiations. Our next bargaining session is scheduled for March 24.
We won’t make progress at the table unless we have a strong voice in the Capitol as well. You can support our bargaining efforts by attending a Lobby Day. Lobby Day is our chance to have a voice and to educate State decision-makers about the importance of the work we do. Meeting with our legislators is lots of fun, and when legislators hear from providers like us, it really makes a difference!
Bring your kids and join us in Salem for our Child Care Lobby Day on March 4! Learn more about our upcoming Lobby Days and sign up here: http://seiu503.seiu.org/page/
If you’re interested in attending but need lodging and/or transportation, call 800-452-2146 and ask to speak to the organizer in your area for more information.
Kassaundra West Nichols, President
Kimberly Cole, Vice President
Jennifer Schmidt, Secretary-Treasurer
Reg 11 Portia Moye
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
We are excited to announce that—with a strong show of support—SEIU Local 503 Child Care members have ratified the tentative agreement for our 2013-2015 union contract! Thank you to all of the providers who became members, participated in Lobby Days, completed story forms, attended rallies, and reached out to fellow Child Care Providers. Your efforts helped secure a strong contract for Child Care Providers and protect slots in the ERDC program for families in need of quality, affordable child care!
We are excited about the improvements we won in this contract, but our work isn’t over—in fact, it’s just the beginning. In the next few years, we will face many challenges. On the 2014 ballot, anti-union forces are putting forward measures that, if passed, would weaken our collective voice. As we navigate these challenges and prepare for contract negotiations in 2015, we must maintain the great spirit of solidarity—with each other, with Oregon families, and with all Oregonians. United, we won a strong contract, and united we will continue to be victorious in the future.
Without the political power and collective voice we have through our union, winning this contract would not have been possible. Together, we held lawmakers accountable to us and the services we provide to Oregon families. We need to continue to build our political strength, and we do this through contributing to our union’s political action fund, Citizen Action for Political Education (CAPE). We won rate increases and strengthened Oregon’s Child Care program because providers like you invested in our CAPE fund to make sure we have a strong political voice. To win in the future, we’ll need to do more of the same.
If you have questions or want to be involved please contact SEIU 503 at 800-452-2146 or visit www.seiu503.org!
In It Together!
Your Child Care Bargaining Team,
Portia Moye (Portland)
Kassaundra Nichols (Baker City)
Enrique Luna (Salem)
Molly Stafford (Roseburg)
Kimberly Cole (Medford)
Wanda Winne (Portland)
Renee Cripe (Roseburg)
Jennifer Schmidt (Riddle)