Homecare

Who we are…
SEIU Local 503 represents more than 20,000 homecare workers in the state of Oregon. Close to 12,500 workers care for seniors and people with physical disabilities, and 7,500 care for people with developmental disabilities, mental health needs and medically fragile children.


You know you’re an Oregon care provider when…

10 Things You’ll Only Understand as a Homecare Worker

1. You know that homecare work is one of the hardest jobs in the world

 

At least astronauts get to sit down!

2. And it’s like you’re always on call

There’s no 9-5 for you…

3. It’s hard to describe what you do to other people

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I’m just trying to give people a way to live with dignity! What’s so hard to understand?

4. You stay calm under pressure.

5. Even if sometimes it feels like your job is MAID.

Dude…

6. And despite your dedication, it can be hard. And lonely.

Your friends talk about hanging out with co-workers,
and you’re like: What are co-workers?

7. But you know you’re making a difference and providing independence and self-sufficiency to those who need it.

WeMakeADifference

8. And you know things are getting better

Pay raises! More trainingHealth insurance!

9. And that SEIU has your back!

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SEIU 503 homecare workers in Oregon are now on a path to $15 by 2017, compared to the national average homecare wage of $9.00.

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10. And that by working together, homecare workers can continue to advocate for better funding, hours, and quality services for consumers while improving the lives of workers!

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SEIU knows homecare workers are some of the most hard-working, dedicated, and under-appreciated working professionals in Oregon.

Will you stand strong with your fellow homecare workers and join SEIU today?

Click here to join SEIU 503!

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Personal Support Workers Tentative Agreement Summary

Wages

Given the budget shortfall, we are proud that we protected our wages from any cuts.

  • All workers will receive a 15-cent increase on April 1, 2018. This will raise our base rate to $14.65/hr, one of the highest in the nation.
  • The PSW daily respite rate that is currently $11.25/hr will be increased to $12.75/hr effective April 1, 2018
  • Protected PSWs who are grandfathered in at 50 hrs/week from being cut to 40 hrs/week, as proposed by the Legislature.

PDC .50c Training Differential

Improvements that make the .50c Professional Development Certification (PDC) training differential more accessible to providers across geographic locations and language preferences, including:

  • By April 1, 2018, the OHCC will offer the PDC core classes online in English.
  • By July 1, 2018, the OHCC will offer five hours of safety training and at least five hours of elective training online
  • By April 1, 2018, the OHCC will offer the PDC core classes and required safety courses in Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Somali and Arabic, both in person and online.
  • Any materials required for the certification, like the application and competency assessments, will be available in more than five languages.

CIIS

  • Secured improvements to the process when a Consumer ages out of the CIIS program, including continuing to pay the worker the CIIS rate for the year following the transition to allow the provider more time to complete the applicable Enhanced/Exceptional training.
  • Secured $100,000 to be designated for CIIS providers to get the OHCC training stipend for attending Enhanced/Exceptional training classes.
  • Maintained CIIS providers’ ability to get the .50c training differential—the State had proposed making CIIS providers ineligible for the differential.

PSW Job Coaches

We believe that PSWs are a key part of ODDS employment services. Throughout negotiations it became clear that, moving forward, we need a mechanism to focus on this issue with ODDS. We pushed the State to convene a workgroup that will explore policy and procedure recommendations designed to recruit, develop and maintain PSWs as job coaches, including the role of Full Service Employment Specialists. The workgroup will begin meeting within 90 days of ratifying the contract, and will present written recommendations to ODDS no later than a year from its first meeting.

Payroll Improvements

  • Maintained our current pay cycles of the 1st-15th and 16th-end of month, vs moving to a 14-day pay cycle. We made this decision after surveying workers multiple times.
  • Workers will be notified if there is an error on their timesheet or voucher, and given an opportunity to fix it in order to get paid on time. This is a big win for those of us who have had a pay delay due to a small, easily fixable error. DHS will also develop a policy about which timesheet errors the local office staff can fix directly.
  • An out-of-cycle check will now be run every four days to make sure workers who are paid late due to errors by the local office or PPL can get paid more quickly. ODDS will make this change to their contract with PPL within 105 days of ratification of the contract. We also won clear language that the state must pay any fees we incur (like overdraft fees) when we’re paid late through no fault of our own.
  • Any required progress notes on Consumers will be completed on work time, instead of a worker’s own time. Additionally, a worker’s pay cannot be delayed for not completing Progress Notes correctly; instead the local office will have to offer technical assistance to the Worker before the next timesheet submission.
  • Comprehensive language regarding what processes will be followed when any new system impacting workers’ pay is implemented, including: daily out-of-cycle payments during the first two pay periods following any payroll transition, online and in-person trainings available in multiple languages and the ability for Local offices to print and distribute any paperwork workers are required to complete.
  • If a Local Field Office is unexpectedly closed during any of the days workers have to submit their timesheets/vouchers, the submission deadline will be extended proportionally to give workers more time.
  • Workers who provide urgent/emergency hours at the end of a pay period will have their regularly authorized hours paid on time. The additional hours they worked will be paid as soon as possible, but no later than the next pay period. This will ensure workers aren’t discouraged from claiming emergency hours for fear of it delaying their regular pay.
  • In addition to already established exceptions to using the online eXPRS system, language that allows for an exception if English isn’t the worker’s primary language, presenting a barrier to using the eXPRS system to enter hours worked.
  • PSWs can submit a timesheet prior to the end of a pay period as long as they have completed all work shifts for the applicable Consumer. This will allow the Local Offices to start processing timesheets as soon as possible, allowing more time for any errors to be caught and fixed.

Background Checks/Credentials

Many of us have expired delays getting our provider number credentials (like our background check) renewed in time. This results in issues for both workers and our Consumers. We know that broader improvements are needed to the background check system. In the meantime, we agreed to the following changes in order to improve the process around timely credential renewal:

  • We must submit any required credential renewal paperwork at least 70 days before the expiration date. This will allow plenty of time for our background checks— including fingerprints, if required—to be processed before the expiration date.
  • The State will send out two reminders about our credential expiration dates at least 120 days and 90 days prior to the dates.
  • We will now be able to view our individual credential expiration date on the initial login page in the eXPRS system, as well as in the OHCC Registry. Once our credentials have been successfully updated, it will be updated immediately in the OHCC Registry and the eXPRS system.
  • If we get our credential paperwork in on time, we can request an exception to continue working past our credential end date if our paperwork doesn’t get processed on time.
  • A worker who continues to work without updated credentials (like an expired background check) may face discipline.

Other Issues

  • Improvements to the grievance process we use when the contract has been violated.
  • Established a consistent email address for all workers to direct issues or concerns that aren’t covered in our union contract.
  • Processing a worker Professional Development Certifcation application can take no longer than 45 days by the OHCC. We previously had no timelines tied to this process.
  • Clearer notification processes for workers to follow when they no longer plan to provide services for any future Consumers, including notifying the Local Office in writing so their final check can be processed during the next payroll processing cycle.
  • Car Insurance Requirements: If a worker uses their personal vehicle to transport a Consumer during work time, they must notify their car insurance provider. This will help reduce the risk of personal liability for the worker if they are ever in an accident with the Consumer during work time.
  • No later than July 1, 2018, DHS/OHA will develop consistent policies regarding: 1—The ability for Consumers to direct service hours to be used in conjunction with medical services (such as having a worker join them at a medical appointment); and 2—the process workers should follow to communicate a new or urgent Consumer service need.
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Homecare Workers Tentative Agreement Summary

Wages

Given the budget shortfall we are proud that we protected our wages from any cuts.

  • All workers will receive a 15-cent increase on April 1, 2018. This will raise our base rate to $14.65/hr, one of the highest in the nation.
  • Protected workers who are grandfathered in at 50 hrs/week from being cut down to 40 hrs/week as proposed by the Legislature.

New 14-Day Pay Cycle

Beginning Sunday, October 1, 2017, our pay periods will change to every 14 days (two weeks). This 14-day pay period will match the new 14-day voucher cycle being implemented by DHS. Each workweek will begin on a Sunday and end on a Saturday. This will make it easier for you and your consumer-employers to create and follow a weekly schedule and track your time.

Why make this change so quickly? October 1st falls on a Sunday, which means that we will not experience any pay delay making this transition:

Former pay cycle Former pay processing date New pay cycle New pay processing date
Oct. 1st pay period Oct. 1-15 Oct. 30 Oct. 1-14 Oct. 30
Oct. 2nd pay period Oct. 16-31 Nov. 16 Oct. 15-28 Nov. 14

Key benefits of moving to a 14-day pay cycle:

  • Establishes a more consistent pay processing date (the day checks are mailed or direct deposits are sent to the bank). We will now have our paychecks consistently cut every other week.
  • We will get paid more often—26 paychecks a year vs the current 24.
  • The voucher submission deadline will continue to be three business days after the end of the pay period. We also won language that clarifies that we can submit our vouchers prior to the end of a pay period as long as we  have completed all work shifts for the applicable Consumer. This will allow the Local Offices to start processing timesheets as soon as possible, allowing more time for any errors to be caught and fixed.
  • The current system is confusing because the work week of Sunday-Saturday doesn’t match the monthly authorization of hours. This confusion is causing close to 3,000 of us to accidentally submit more hours than we were authorized for in the pay period. These voucher errors can lead to our provider numbers being terminated. This change should help correct this issue because now our new pay cycle, two work weeks of Sunday-Saturday, will exactly match the 14-day voucher period.
  • Additionally, Consumers will no longer have to figure out how to make their hours stretch over months that are 28 vs 30 vs 31 days long. The State will be adjusting the monthly allotment of hours into a 14-day cycle. There will be no loss of hours over the course of a year due to this change. Your new hours will be determined by dividing your current authorized hours by the average number of days in a month (30.4 hours). This is then multiplied by 14 (the number of days in each pay period).
  • To make sure no consumer loses any hours because of this change,  the State will round up to the next whole hour.  This means if your new hours equaled 36.4 (for example), they would be rounded up to 37, not rounded down to 36.

Here’s an example of how the current amount of monthly hours will be adjusted to fit into the 14 day cycle.

Consumer A: Currently authorized 80 hours a month (40 hours for 1/2 month)

80/30.41 = 2.63 hours a day

2.63 X 14 = 36.8, will round up to 37 hours.

Old system: 960 hours per year; New system: 962 hours per year

  • Allows workers to establish more consistent schedules. For instance, a worker who normally works Mondays for a Consumer will no longer have to adjust their whole schedule when a month happens to have five Mondays.
  • Workers can continue to submit their voucher every other pay cycle if they prefer.
  • Knowing that any payroll change can be confusing, we secured daily out-of-cycle payments during the first two pay periods following the transition, then biweekly out-of-cycle payments during the third and fourth pay cycles following the transition.

Additional Payroll Improvements

  • Agreement that workers will be notified if there is an error on their timesheet or voucher, and given an opportunity to fix it in order to get paid on time. This is a big win for our those of us who have had a pay delay due to a small error like circling AM instead of PM.
  • We secured language that an out-of-cycle check will now be run within 24 hours of the late pay error being discovered. Right now if a worker submits their timesheet/voucher correctly but isn’t paid on time due to an error by the Local Office, they sometimes have to wait until the next pay period to get paid.
  • Language that the state must pay any fees we incur (like overdraft fees) when we’re paid late through no fault of our own.
  • Comprehensive language regarding what processes will be followed when any new system is implemented that impacts Workers’ pay, including daily out-of-cycle payments during the first two pay periods following any payroll transition, online and in-person trainings available in multiple languages, and the ability for Local offices to print and distribute any paperwork that workers are required to complete.
  • If a Local Field Office is unexpectedly closed during any of the days Workers have to submit their timesheets/vouchers, the submission deadline will be extended proportionally to give Workers more time.
  • Workers who provide urgent/emergency hours at the end of a pay period will have their regularly authorized hours paid on time. The additional hours they worked will be paid as soon as possible, but no later than the next pay period. This will ensure workers aren’t discouraged from claiming emergency hours for fear of it delaying their regular pay.
  • We also won an letter of agreement that we will get to negotiate over additional improvements to the payroll timeline when the new online provider time capture system is rolled out for homecare workers in the Fall of 2018.

PDC .50c Training Differential Improvements

  • Improvements that make the .50c Professional Development Certification (PDC) training differential more accessible to providers across geographic locations and language preferences, including:
  • By April 1, 2018, the OHCC will offer the PDC core classes online in English.
  • By July 1, 2018, the OHCC will offer five hours of safety training and at least five hours of elective training online.
  • By April 1, 2018 the OHCC will offer the PDC core classes and required safety courses in Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Somali, and Arabic, both in-person and online.
  • Any materials required for the certification, like the application and competency assessments will be available in more than five languages.

Background Checks/Credentials

Many of us have experienced delays getting our provider number credentials (e.g. background checks) renewed in time. This results in issues for both workers and our Consumers. We know that broader improvements are needed to the background check system. In the meantime, we agreed to the following changes in order to improve the process around timely credential renewal:

  • We must submit any required credential renewal paperwork at least 70 days before the expiration date. This will allow plenty of time for our background checks— including fingerprints, if required—to be processed before the expiration date.
  • The State will send out two reminders about our credential expiration dates at least 120 days and 90 days prior to the dates.
  • We will now be able to view our individual credential expiration date on every Remittance Advice (paystub). Once our credentials have been successfully updated it will be updated immediately in the OHCC Registry.
  • If we get our credential paperwork in on time, we can request an exception to continue working past our credential end date if our paperwork doesn’t get processed on time.
  • A worker who continues to work without updated credentials (like an expired background check) may face discipline.

Other Issues

  • Improvements to the grievance process we use when the contract has been violated.
  • Established a consistent email address for all workers to direct issues or concerns that aren’t covered in our union contract.
  • Processing a worker Professional Development Certification application can take no longer than 45 days by the OHCC. We previously had no timelines tied to this process.
  • Clearer notification processes for workers to follow when they no longer plan to provide services for any future Consumers, including notifying the Local Office in writing so their final check can be processed during the next payroll processing cycle.
  • Car Insurance Requirements: If a worker uses their personal vehicle to transport a Consumer during work time, they must notify their car insurance provider. This will help reduce the risk of personal liability for the worker if they are ever in an accident with their Consumer during work time.
  • No later than July 1, 2018 DHS/OHA will develop consistent policies regarding: 1—The ability for Consumers to direct service hours to be used in conjunction with medical services (such as having a worker join them at a medical appointment); and 2—the process workers should follow to communicate a new or urgent Consumer service need.
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Homecare and Personal Support Workers Win Tentative Agreement with the State

We’re very excited to share that—after months of bargaining—our SEIU 503 bargaining team has reached a tentative agreement with the State!

Details will be shared with represented workers soon. Some highlights include:

  • Given the budget shortfall we are proud that we protected our wages from any cuts. We will get a 15-cent increase effective April 1, 2018, bringing our base rate to $14.65/hr—one of the highest in the nation.
  • Improvements to the payroll system:
    • Homecare workers will be moving to a 14 day pay cycle (two consecutive work weeks) starting in October. This change will mean we are paid more often and on a more consistent, every-other-week schedule. Personal support workers’ pay cycle will not change.
    • Agreement that workers will be notified if there is an error on their voucher, and given an opportunity to fix it in order to get paid on time. This is a big win for our those of us who have had a pay delayed due to a small error like circling AM instead of PM.
    • An out-of-cycle check will now be run within 24 hours of any late pay error being discovered that wasn’t the worker’s fault.
    • Clear language that the State must pay any fees we incur (like overdraft fees) when they pay us late.

Next steps: Because this contract will affect all homecare workers, it needs to be voted on (or ratified) by our union membership. In the coming weeks, members will an opportunity to vote on this agreement. Please watch your email and mail for more information on how to vote.

Thanks to the hundreds of SEIU 503 members who showed up and won an agreement that lifts all workers. We’re excited about this agreement, and we’re looking forward to sharing more information with members soon!

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April 25 Homecare and PSW Bargaining Update: We need to win in Salem and at the table

For more than a decade, homecare and personal support workers in Oregon have been joining together in our union to win for ourselves and our consumers. As a result, our consumers have a degree of dignity and autonomy not found most places, and personal support and homecare workers in Oregon are some of the most highly paid in the country.

Now, as the State of Oregon faces a $1.6 billion budget hole (and the lowest corporate taxes in the nation), we know that if we want to avoid sliding backwards, we need to win both in the legislature and at the bargaining table.

We wanted to share updates on both fronts with you. This message is long, but it contains a lot of important information about the future of Oregon’s homecare/personal support systems and how you can show up for yourself, your fellow care providers, and your consumer(s).

Legislative Update

The latest version of the Legislative budget has deep cuts to our consumers’ services, including:

  • An across-the-board 15% cut to homecare hours
  • Elimination of the 24-hour homecare program and Oregon Project Independence.
  • Many people who currently get services through I/DD would face a loss of services, including kids with autism.
  • PSWs would no longer be able to get any overtime which would cause even more disruptions for consumers.

These proposed cuts to services would have devastating impacts on both Consumers and Workers.  With a $1.6 billion shortfall, we can’t sit back and expect a better budget to materialize on its own. Together we must fight for a state budget that invests in vital services.

What is the best way to ensure a good contract and quality services? Here are two things you can do today:

  1. Share your story about how the proposed cuts would impact you and/or your consumer.
  2. Sign up to participate in our June 6th Action in Salem.

Bargaining Update

Earlier this week, we exchanged opening contract proposals with the State. In our opening statement we laid out the following three priorities for this round of negotiations:

1. Wages: We are proud of the progress we have made in wages over the last four years, which have made Oregon homecare workers some of the highest-paid in the nation . Our first priority is to protect the increases we’ve won, but as workers face increased costs of living throughout the state, we don’t want to fall behind.

2. Establish a real career ladder: In recent contracts we won language that establishes higher pay rates for completing additional training. We believe that not enough workers are getting access to the trainings necessary to get the Professional Development Certification or the Enhanced/Exceptional rates. All workers, regardless of where you live or what your primary language is, should have a pathway to growing in your work.

3. Addressing Payroll Issues: So many of us live paycheck to paycheck, so getting paid on time is critical. We were clear with the State that we deserve to be treated with respect by being paid on time, and that there needs to be accountability if that doesn’t happen.

Here are our union’s and the State’s opening proposals:

Our Union Proposal State’s Proposal to Us
Wages
Cost of living increases

July 1, 2017 —3.5 % cost of living increase

July 1, 2018 — 3.5 % cost of living increase

No cost of living increases in either year of contract. No raises in the contract unless money is secured in the legislative budget.
PSW Job Coaches

Like other employment providers, allow PSW Job Coaches to bill for all hours the supported individual works. This will incentivize fading by the job coaches

Higher rates for providers that are Full Service Employment Providers

No changes to the job coaching rates or structure
Professional Development Certification

The $.50/hr PDC differential should be retroactive to the date the worker submits the application

Improve access to the PDC differential by getting all trainings online and in multiple languages

No changes proposed
Addressing Payroll Issues
Pay Period and Pay Dates Maintaining a 1st-15th and 16th-end of month pay period
Workers with direct deposit shall be guaranteed to receive their pay on the pay date

Moving to a two-week pay period starting October 1, 2017

No guarantee of when pay received

Timely Pay

Workers should be given an opportunity by the Local Office to fix errors on their timesheet

If a worker properly submits their timesheet but is not paid on time, an out-of-cycle payment should be done immediately instead of making the worker wait for the next pay date.

The State should be responsible for any late fees, overdraft charges, etc experienced by Workers who aren’t paid on time.

No proposals on these issues
Other

Better notices to workers who need to submit updated credentials (like a background check or PEAA).

Require State to give worker advance written notice if hours are no longer authorized for a specific consumer.

Proposed terminating the provider numbers of people who work with expired credentials

The proposal on the table from the state is insufficient and does nothing to address the needs of the homecare workforce.

Our next bargaining session will be May 8th. In the meantime, here are two things you can do today to help us win at the bargaining table and in the legislature:

In Unity,

Your Homecare and Personal Support Worker Bargaining Team

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Broken Promises: Report exposes widespread problems with services to people with developmental disabilities

Poverty wages and 90% turnover for Direct Support Providers put Oregonians with disabilities at risk

Group home workers and people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD) gathered at the Capitol on March 7 to testify about the looming crisis in Oregon group homes. SEIU Local 503 released a report today titled “Broken Promises: Are Oregon Group Homes Failing People with Developmental Disabilities?” that outlines major problems in the industry and proposes policy solutions. The House Human Services Committee heard testimony on HB2684 and HB2685, which propose solutions to problems described in the report.

Abuse and neglect unreported and unpunished

The Department of Human Services’ Office of Developmental Disability Services (ODDS) tracks hundreds of reports of abuse in group homes every year, including restraint and seclusion, sexual assault, and physical abuse resulting in serious injuries. Many of the substantiated abuse reports are categorized as neglect—a direct consequence of chronic short staffing driven by poverty wages for Direct Support Providers. Neglect reports include falls resulting in broken bones, failure to administer medication or administering the wrong medication, and medical neglect leading to seizures, overdose, and in multiple documented cases, death.

71% of all substantiated abuse claims submitted to the Office of Adult Abuse Prevention (OAPPI) between 2010 and 2015 occurred in group homes. Of the 306 cases substantiated in 2015, 41% either received no penalty or the State did not have information on the outcome. HB 2684 proposes stiffer penalties for substantiated abuse and whistleblower protection for frontline workers who report it.

“We need to protect whistleblowers because nobody reports abuse in group homes,” said Beverly Brinster, a former DSP from St. Helens. “If they do they will be fired. Officially, you can’t be fired for reporting, but they can fire you for no reason whatsoever, and it’s an ‘odd coincidence’ that it happens right after you reported something.”

High turnover leads to poor conditions

Average pay in group homes starts just above minimum wage. As a result, group homes have a 90% turnover rate — the highest of any care sector in Oregon. High turnover is especially hard on people with I/DD who live in group homes and form close relationships with the people who provide assistance with activities like bathing and dressing. HB 2684 proposes a wage pass-through to stabilize the workforce by bringing DSP wages in line with industry standards for other care jobs.

“Even when there’s a regular shift change, it can be stressful for the people who live here,” said Ebony Friese, a DSP at a group home in Portland. “When it’s actually new staff coming in, it’s really difficult. It’s the consistency and the routine that makes people feel safe and more comfortable. Imagine if you constantly had to adjust to new people in your life, especially people you rely on for so many personal things.”

Chronic understaffing and neglect

“Understaffing really affects care,” said Debbie Price, a DSP from Portland. Debbie describes the struggle to meet each person’s basic needs when group homes are understaffed: “I’ve had situations where I needed to get someone up and I couldn’t do it alone. I called management and they couldn’t come help me. I did get them up by myself but it took a long time and I nearly missed a medication dose.”

“Many times I am trying to give one client a shower, and for their privacy I am supposed to shut their door, but how can I shut their door when I have two other clients that are 1:1 supervision and I’m the only staff in the house? If another client is trying to get out the front door then I have to pull the first person out of the shower, they are dripping wet and I am trying to wrap a towel around them real quick so I can go chase the other person down the street. It’s not safe for anybody.”

Minimal transparency with public money

Even though I/DD services for the 2,891 Oregonians who live in group homes are almost entirely publicly funded, there is minimum financial disclosure. It’s impossible to verify if public money is being spent as intended. HB 2684 would increase requirements for financial reporting to bring group homes in line with nursing homes.

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URGENT notice for PSWs: Action Needed to Avoid Disruption in Your Pay

As you know, the Office of Developmental Disabilities Services (ODDS) is changing who the payroll vendor is starting January 2017. Before you were getting your checks from TNT FI Services and now you will be getting them from Public Partnerships, LLC (PPL).

In order to get paid on time in January, you must complete the necessary payroll transition paperwork with PPL this week. You should have received a packet in the mail recently with all of the necessary paperwork including the Provider Attestation Form, the I-9 and the W-4. Please note that the Provider Attestation Form and the I-9 need to be signed by BOTH you and your Employer.

If you need a new copy of the enrollment materials, or have any questions about the status of your paperwork, you can contact either your Consumer-Employer’s CDDP/Brokerage or PPL’s Customer Service at 1-888-419-7705 or PPLORFMAS-CS@pcgus.com. PPL’s business hours are 8am-5pm PST.

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Homecare Professional Development Certification (PDC)

 Article 14, Section 5 in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), includes a training certification differential for homecare workers and personal support workers.

What is the purpose of the Professional Development Certification (PDC)? The purpose is to acknowledge the continued skill development and services provided by the HCW or PSW.

Is there a financial benefit for the HCW or PSW? Yes, once approved for the Professional Development Certification, the worker will earn a $.50 cent more per hour differential, above base rate pay. The certification period is 24 months, as long as all requirements are met and maintained. There will be a renewal process developed in the future, for those who are interested in renewing their certification.

What are some important dates that apply to the Professional Development Certification? Once all the requirements are met, the PSW or HCW may request a Professional Development Certification. The certification program is effective on January 1, 2017. The certification period is valid for 24 months.

Is there a funding cap? Yes. The Professional Development Certification Program’s continuation is subject to the availability of funds. If the number of homecare and personal support workers eligible for the differential exceeds more than 30% of the total number of workers the program will then be capped.  DHS/OHA/OHCC and SEIU are then required to meet and confer to keep the cost of the training differential within the available dedicated funds.

What are the requirements for the Professional Development Certification?
  • Have an active provider number.
  • Have a class attendance “no-show” rate of not more than 20%.
  • Complete these required classes: Keeping It Professional; Working Together; Helping Caregivers Fight Fraud & Abuse.
  • Choose two of these four safety-type classes: Medication Safety; Protection Against Sprains and Strains; Preventing Disease Transmission; Taking Responsibility in Personal Safety.
  • Choose two of these four elective classes: Challenging Behaviors (for HCWs); Everyone Communicates (for PSWs); Nutrition Basics; Heart Healthy.
  • Have a current CPR/First Aid certification.
  • Pass each PDC class assessment with a score of 80% or higher for each PDC class.

If I just took one of these classes a couple of months ago, can I just take the assessment and get credit? Yes, if you have taken any of the classes after October 29, 2015, you may request an assessment through and if you score at least 80%, you will get credit towards the required classes. There will be a one-time pro-rated stipend payment for the completion of each assessment. The assessment test and its implementation will be ready in August 2016 and not available at this time. Those who do not score high enough to get credit, will need to retake the class; no stipend will be available if class is taken within 12 months. You can request an assessment by sending an email to certifications.ohcc@state.or.us

How do I apply for the Professional Development Certification?

To apply for the Professional Development Certification, please mail the completed Professional Development Certification application and a copy of your CPR/First Aid cards showing current certification to:

Oregon Home Care Commission Roberta Lilly

Program Manager 676 Church Street NE Salem, Oregon 97301

Questions

If you have questions, please send an email to certifications.ohcc@state.or.us

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Homecare and Personal Support Worker overtime contract language

Following is the contract language negotiated by our homecare worker bargaining team with the State in 2016. The language was negotiated in a special bargaining session to meet new federal regulations that extended overtime protections to homecare and personal support workers. Click here to download a pdf version of this contract language.

1 Letter of Agreement: FLSA Implementation

2

3 SECTION – WORK WEEK.

4 The regular work week shall consist of a forty (40) hour work week. The work week shall be

5 defined as 12:00am Sunday through 11:59pm Saturday.

6 SECTION – OVERTIME.

7 Retroactive to January 1, 2016 HCWs/PSWs shall be paid at a rate of time and a half (1 ½ ) of

8 her/his hourly wage rate for all hours authorized and paid in excess of forty (40) hours per week.

9 For workers with multiple hourly rates, overtime shall be paid at a rate of time and a half (1 ½) of

10 their weighted hourly average wage.

11 Overtime payments will be processed no later than thirty-six (36) days after a HCW/PSW has

12 properly submitted their voucher and/or timesheet.

13 All retroactive overtime payments back to January 1, 2016 will be issued no later than

14 September 30, 2016.

15 SECTION – NEW HOMECARE AND PERSONAL SUPPORT WORKERS’ HOURS

16 LIMITATION.

17 HCWs/PSWs newly authorized to work on or after June 1, 2016, shall have an hours limitation

18 where hours worked shall not exceed forty (40) hours per week beginning September 1, 2016.

19 Consumer/Employers may be granted exceptions to this hour’s limitation for HCWs/PSWs by

20 DHS/OHA, or designee, due to workforce shortages or to meet other service needs of the

21 consumer. Irrespective of the above language, a HCW/PSW may not work more hours than

22 they are authorized, except in emergency situations to meet the needs of the Consumer as

23 outlined in Article 14 (a).

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3 SECTION – CURRENT HOMECARE AND PERSONAL SUPPORT WORKERS’ HOURS

4 LIMITATION.

5 HCWs/PSWs authorized to work before June 1, 2016 shall have an hour’s limitation as defined

6 below. Consumer/Employers may be granted exceptions to the below hour’s limitations for

7 HCWs/PSWs by DHS/OHA, or designee. The worker’s average paid weekly hours in the

8 months of March, April and May shall be used to determine subsections (a-c).

9 a) All HCWs/PSWs working more than 50 hours per week, will have a 50 hour cap

10 applied when the first consumer’s reassessment or renewal occurs between

11 September 1, 2016 and no later than June 30, 2017. This section shall apply

12 irrespective of starting with a new Consumer/Employer.

13 b) HCWs/PSWs working less than fifty (50) hours, but more than forty (40) hours,

14 per week shall be limited to no more than fifty (50) hours per week. This section

15 shall apply irrespective of starting with a new Consumer/Employer.

16 c) HCWs/PSWs working less than forty (40) hours, per week shall be capped at

17 forty (40) hours per week.

18 d) Live-in workers moved to the hourly program shall be limited to no more than fifty

19 (50) hours per week.

20 e) Irrespective of the above language, a HCW/PSW may not work more hours than

21 authorized, except in emergency situations to meet the needs of the Consumer

22 as outlined in Article 14 (a).

23 f) All hours worked include hourly, travel time, live-in and relief care hours.

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2 Stipend for Required Training

3 If a worker is required to attend a training, by DHS/OHA, and based on the Consumer’s care

4 plan, including but not limited to the Oregon Intervention System (OIS) training, the worker shall

5 receive the OHCC training hourly stipend.

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7 SECTION – RELIEF CARE

8 a.) Payment to a Relief Worker providing hourly respite shall continue to be paid at the

9 worker’s applicable hourly rate.

10 b.) Effective September 1, 2016, all relief care hours provided in a 24 hour block will be paid

11 at eleven (11) dollars per hour. Relief care providers will be paid at least sixteen (16)

12 hours per day and may receive up to three (3) hours per twenty-four (24) hour period for

13 direct care provided during the consumer’s normal sleep schedule. Relief Providers may

14 be paid for more than nineteen (19) hours a day only in emergency situations. Providers

15 will be paid in fifteen (15) minute increments for services provided during the

16 Consumer/Employer’s normal sleep hours.

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Homecare workers reach overtime agreement with state

Since the federal Department of Labor ruled that homecare workers are covered by overtime laws, our bargaining team has been been negotiating with DHS for an implementation that is fair to workers, without putting services to our consumers at risk. We are excited to announce that after seven months of bargaining, we have reached an agreement with the State.

From the beginning, the State proposed to cap hours for homecare providers at 40 hours a week. Because there was a limited amount of money to pay overtime without putting services at risk, our team’s priority was to minimize the impact any hours cap would have on current providers who work more than 40 hours a week. Over the past seven months, thousands of us—workers and consumers alike—have joined together in union to demand that the State bargain a more fair and responsible hours cap.

The good news: our collective action worked! We made significant progress from the State’s original proposal for a 40 hour a week cap and no overtime pay until September. Because of our collective action, workers will receive overtime pay retroactive to January 1, 2016- which means over 32 million dollars going into homecare workers’ pockets!

Settlement Details
Effective Date of Overtime
  • Overtime will be paid retroactive to January 1, 2016 for any hours paid above 40 in a week. This is a huge win, especially since the State originally proposed delaying overtime until September.
  • The retroactive payments will be paid to workers no later than September 30, 2016.
  • These retro payments equal more than 32 million dollars going into workers’ pockets!
Hours limitation for workers currently working more than 40 hours a week (based on average number of hours paid in March, April and May)
  • A 50 hour per week hours limitation starting September 1, 2016. This is a big improvement over the State’s initial proposal of a 40/hr a week cap.
  • The 50 hour limitation will be implemented on a rolling basis (won’t be implemented until the first Consumer’s assessment after 9/1/16).
  • We secured language that allows Consumers to request an exception to this 50 hour limitation.
  • We pushed for and won language that workers in this group can continue to work up to 50 hours a week even if they start with a new Consumer.
  • Hourly, live-in, travel time and relief care hours all count towards the cap.
Hours limitation for: -Workers currently working less than 40 hours a week and -New workers as of June 1, 2016
  • There will be a 40/hour per week cap for:
    • workers currently working less than 40 hours in a week.
    • And any new workers as of June 1
  • Knowing there would need to be flexibility with this new policy, we secured language that allows Consumers to request an exception to this 40-hour per week cap due to workforce shortages or specific needs of a Consumer.
  • Hourly, live-in, travel time and relief care hours all count towards the cap.
24-hour Relief Care
  • We agreed to change the way payment for 24-hour relief care works. Instead of a $175 block payment, 24-hour relief care will be paid at $11/hr for a minimum of 16 hours a day. Workers will also be paid for any sleeptime services provided.  Hourly relief will not change and will continue to be paid at the workers applicable hourly rate.
Other Important Language
  • If a worker has multiple wage rates, overtime will be calculated at 1.5 times the worker’s weighted average rate.
  • Future overtime payments (earned after 9/1/16) will be paid one month in arrears. For instance, overtime earned in the 9/1/16-9/1/15/16 pay period will be issued during the mid-October payroll run (and the 9/16-9/30 overtime will be paid during the early Nov payroll run).
  • Hours worked for multiple Consumers and in multiple programs will all count towards calculating overtime.
  • If a worker is required to attend a training by DHS/OHA due to a Consumer’s care plan (like OIS training) they will now receive the OHCC training hourly stipend.
  • Workers should not work more hours than they are authorized unless in emergency situations to meet the needs of the Consumer. If a worker provides services outside of authorized hours, they must notify the Consumer’s case manager/personal agent within two business days.
  • For the purposes of calculating overtime the workweek will be considered 12:00am Sunday through 11:59pm Saturday.

 

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Homecare Hours Cap Bargaining Update

Our member-elected bargaining team met with the State last Thursday to continue pushing for a fair settlement. We have been fighting for the last six months for a path forward that is the most fair to workers, without putting the overall DHS budget and services at risk.

The good news is that by coming together, and collectively pushing back, we saw significant improvements in the State’s proposals last week. Click here for a side-by-side comparison of the State’s and our Union’s latest proposals.

Before we met with State last week they were proposing:

  • a 45-hour per week cap for all hourly workers, which would result in significant pay cuts for thousands of workers.
  • Delaying any overtime pay until September, but still capping hours retroactive to April. This proposal would have resulted in workers having a reduced number of hours for five months before getting any overtime pay.

Click here for a side-by-side comparison of the State’s and our Union’s latest proposals.

Together, thousands of us have been putting pressure on the State to settle a fair and responsible hours cap by signing a unity petition, sharing our stories and participating in a delegation to DHS Central Office Management. And throughout last week workers and consumers called APD Director Ashley Carson-Cottingham and ODDS Director Lilia Teninty to send the message that a 45-hour per week cap for current workers wasn’t good enough.

Our priority throughout this process has been to mitigate the impact of any hours cap on current Consumers and workers. We have made significant progress from the State’s original proposal for a 40 hour a week cap and no overtime pay until September. Our next bargaining session is scheduled for June 24th where we are going to make one final push for a fair settlement. Stay tuned for more details on how you can help.

Union’s Proposal as of 6/9 State’s Proposal as of 6/9
Effective Date of Overtime Retroactive to January 1, 2016 Retroactive to January 1, 2016. This is big movement from their last proposal of September 1.
Hours cap for workers currently working more than 40 hours a week for a single consumer Common language that the State’s 50/hr per Consumer policy that has been moving since last Fall is not enforced until the Consumer’s next assessment and that folks are allowed up to 50 hours per week; also allows for exceptions Common language that the  State’s 50/hr per Consumer policy that has been moving since last Fall is not enforced until the Consumer’s next assessment and that folks are allowed up to 50 hours per week; also allows for exceptions
Hours cap for workers currently working more than 40 hours a week for multiple consumers Proposed a 60 hour cap starting in September 50 hour cap starting in September.
Hours cap for workers currently working less than 40 hours a week Language that allows for exceptions to a 40-hour per week cap for new workers and workers currently working less than 40 hours a week. Language that allows for exceptions to a 40-hour per week cap for new workers and workers currently working less than 40 hours a week.

 

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