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.


Important updates for Personal Support Workers

Important reminders for Personal Support Workers on upcoming payroll changes and Paid Time Off

PSW Payroll Changes

(These changes do not apply to Independent Choices or PC-20s)

As of February 1, 2016 PSWs who submit a paper timesheet for the CDDP/Brokerage to enter must submit it within two business days of the end of the payroll period. Contact your CDDP/Brokerage with any questions on this new policy.

PSWs doing their own time entry into eXPRS will continue to have three business days to submit their signed timesheets to the CDDP/Brokerage for verification.

Click here for a copy of the 2016 PSW Payroll Calendar

PSW Paid Time Off Cash-out Reminder

February is right around the corner, and if you earned Paid Time Off benefits through the Oregon Homecare Workers Benefit Trust last year, so is the first automatic cash out date for those benefits!

In order to receive a cash out of any paid time off benefits under the Trust, you must meet the hours eligibility criteria and you must turn in a completed W-9 form to the Trust Administrative Office. If you do not turn in your W-9 to the Trust Administrative Office by February 1, 2016, you will not receive any paid time off benefits for 2015. Click here now to make sure you don’t miss your opportunity!

If you have worked the required number of eligible hours to earn a PTO benefit through the Oregon Homecare Workers Benefit Trust last year, those benefits are about to be cashed out and closed out. You must complete a return a [W-9 form] in order to be eligible for PTO benefits.

Complete these two steps today:

  1. Complete the W-9 form
  2. Send your completed W-9 form to the Trust Administrative Office

If you have misplaced the W-9 form the Trust sent you, click here to download and complete the form

For the fastest process, fax your completed W-9 along with a cover letter that has: Attn: OHCWT PTO, with your full name and your best phone number to 1-866-459-4623.

To turn in your completed W-9 via mail, send it to

Attn: OHCWT PTO
PO Box 6
Mukilteo, WA 98275

Remember, your form must be received by the Trust Administrative Office no later than February 1, 2016 in order for you to receive a 2015 PTO benefit.

Don’t miss your opportunity, fill out and return your W-9 to the Trust Administrative Office today if you haven’t already.

You can find more information on the Trust’s website or by calling the Trust Administrative Office at 1-844-507-7554, select option 3 and then option 2.

 

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Payroll changes for homecare workers

Important information about changes in the way DHS is processing payroll for homecare workers

These changes will take effect in January 2016, and are summarized below. If you have more questions that are not answered here, please contact the SEIU Local 503 Member Resource Center at 1-877-451-0002 or homecare@seiu503.org.

Change in Pay Dates

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) issued new rules that require the Department of Human Services (DHS) to start paying overtime for any hours worked above 40 hours a week. Overtime payment is expected to begin some time in 2016, stay tuned for more details.

In order to prepare for this change, the state will have to change how our vouchers look. Instead of just collecting the total numbear of hours worked in a pay period, the vouchers will now have to show time in and time out for each shift worked, so overtime can be calculated correctly. This will be a change for workers and also a big change for local offices. DHS payroll clerks will now have to enter the number of hours each person worked per day.

The state will roll in the implementation of the new vouchers over the next few months. Stay tuned for more information on upcoming trainings about how to complete the new voucher.

The new overtime regulations are the driving force behind the changes in how DHS processes payroll for homecare workers and is why the payroll timelines had to be extended. We know change isn’t fun, but this also gave us an opportunity to fight for – and win – our path to $15 during contract negotiations.

Effective 1/1/16, pay periods will be

  • First day of the month – 15th
  • 16th – last day of the month

We will have 3 business days after the end of the pay period to submit timesheets. Paychecks will be issued 8 business days after submission deadline.

Example: January 2016

Work hours completed between January 1 and January 15:

Vouchers are due January 21 (due to weekend and MLK holiday, 1/21 is 3 business days after end of pay period)

Checks will be issued February 2 (8 business days after submission deadline)

See the updated payroll calendar for all voucher due dates and check issue dates in 2016.

January 2016 pay date

The State sent out some recent payroll calendars that have caused a lot of confusion about the January 2016 pay date. As reflected on the updated payroll calendar), December 2015 vouchers/hours will still be processed under the old payroll timelines — two days after submission. This means if you turn your December hours in on January 4th, your voucher will be processed by end of the day on January 6th. The new payroll timelines start with January 2015 vouchers.

Text message reminders

Adjusting to a new system can be hard. If you would like a text message reminder two days before vouchers are due and then again on the deadline, text SEIU503Care to 787753 to get on the list.

Higher wages go into effect January 1

Change is hard, but don’t forget that our new paychecks will be bigger because of the wins we made in our new contract! The base pay will increase to $14/hr starting January 1st for hourly workers. Also starting January 1st, live-in providers will be paid for at least 16 hours a day, up from the current average of 9 a day.

Together, we can continue to win big!

Our most recent union contract increases wages and benefits, advocates for quality consumer services, and strengthens Oregon’s homecare system. Together, we can continue to win improvements.

If you are not already a member, join SEIU Local 503 today!

Become a member of SEIU Local 503 today by filling out the online membership form.

Being a member of SEIU 503 definitely has its benefits! Besides bolstering our fight for better wages, benefits and quality services for all Oregonians, membership also gives us some extra perks and discounts that really add up and make a difference. All members of SEIU Local 503 receive $2,500 in free life insurance, as well as access to travel, entertainment, AT&T Wireless discounts, and much more. If you’re not currently a member, fill out the enclosed form today so you can take advantage of these great benefits! More information about member benefits here.

Without the political power and collective voice we have through our union, our upcoming wage increases would not have been possible. Together, we held lawmakers accountable to us and the services we provide. 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 wage increases and strengthened Oregon’s homecare system 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. Make your contribution to CAPE today.

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Homecare workers Fight for $15 and a Union

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2016 Homecare Trust Updates

Exciting changes are underway for the 2016 medical insurance plan year! Here are some of the highlights; please visit www.orhomecaretrust.org/overview/ for more information!

  • Exchange Plan Choice Stays the Same. Trust-eligible participants who qualify for benefits through the Exchanges will continue to have the following Trust approved plan options for Oregon:
    • Participants who reside within the Kaiser service area can choose from either the Kaiser Permanente $1500 Deductible Silver plan or the Oregon Health Co-op $3500 Deductible Simple Silver HSA Broad plan.
    • Participants who reside outside of the Kaiser service area can choose from either the MODA $1550 Deductible Be Prepared Silver plan or the Oregon Health Co-op $3500 Deductible Simple Silver HSA Broad plan.
  • Deductibles, Copayments and Coinsurance. For 2016, the Benefit Convenience Card will continue to be funded with $3,000 per calendar year for Trust-approved plans and Medicare plan eligible expenses incurred in 2016.
  • Medicare Supplemental, Advantage or Drug Plan premiums. For 2016 maximum monthly premium reimbursement amount for Medicare Supplemental, Advantage, or Drug Plan is maintaining a benefit level of up to $41. You will need to resubmit your reimbursement materials to the Trust Administrative Office to continue to receive this benefit in 2016.
  • Medicare Part B premiums. Beginning January 1, 2016, you will not have to resubmit for your Medicare Part B premiums to continue that benefit unless you lose eligibility for the benefit and regain eligibility in a different plan year.
  • Vision Benefits.  In partnership with Ameritas, the vision materials benefit is increasing from $250 every two years to $450 every two years beginning January 1, 2016. There will also be an additional hearing materials benefit and Lasik benefit beginning January 1, 2016.

If you are currently insured through the Marketplace you will want to report your income increase for January 2016! You need to schedule a phone appointment to renew your coverage by December 15, 2015. If you are currently uninsured, you can also schedule an appointment to enroll into medical insurance. There are three ways to schedule your appointment:

  • Online. Visit www.seiu503.org/scheduler (preferred)
  • By email. Email us at acahotline@seiuoregon.org immediately with your best phone number, preferred language and best times of day to reach you!
  • By phone. Contact your Healthcare Enrollment Team at 1-855-437-2694. Because your Healthcare Enrollment Team is currently experiencing a high volume of calls, you will need to leave one message with your name, best phone number, preferred language and wait for a return call.
To be able to complete your appointment, you must review, sign and return the HIPAA Authorization Form and Statement of Understanding.  Fax your HIPAA Authorization Form and Statement of Understanding with a cover sheet containing your name, best phone number and Attn: ACA Healthcare Team to 503-420-8665. You can find these forms, as well as other materials to assist you with your appointment online at https://www.orhomecaretrust.org/2016-enrollment-materials/.

* All benefits listed are only provided to Trust eligible Participants as long as they are eligible. If you have questions as to whether or not you are eligible for these benefits, please contact your Trust office at 1-844-507-7554 Option 3, then Option 2 or via email at OHCWT@bsitpa.com. To learn more about what benefits you may be eligible for, please visit https://orhomecaretrust.org.

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Top Ten List of Advocacy Wins for Oregonians with Developmental Disabilities

  1. Parent provider and guardianship advocacy. Parent providers, organized through our union, pushed ODDS and they responded by coming with a fair process in which guardians could continue to be paid providers. Guardians can now appoint someone else to take on the role of the employer. This appointed individual could be another family member, a family friend, or a trusted community member. The appointed individual will have two responsibilities: signing off on the provider’s timesheets, and attending the Individual Support Plan (ISP) meetings. Guardians will still be able to attend the ISP meetings. This was a turnaround from the initial conflict of interest stance that the state was taking on parent provider and guardian providers.
  2. Natural Supports. Our union advocated for compliance by the state and its service providers to eliminate mandatory natural support as outlined in Medicaid State Plan Community First Choice Option. This means that, family providers are compensated for the assessed needs of loved ones in their care and are no longer expected to work for free because of their familial status.
  3. SB 1542 gave non-Medicaid Oregonians in need of in-home support services access to Home Care Commission Registry. This enabled many Oregonians a more affordable way to find qualified Home Care workers as the state was only recouping administrative cost. Up to this point the choices were between hiring an agency or advertising and hiring on their own.
  4. SB 559 required CDDP to provide Oregonians with developmental disabilities at least three placements options when deciding where to live and receive services. At least two must be from in different settings (e.g. two Adult Foster Homes and a group home) Previously Oregonians with developmental disabilities had little to no choice of where they lived and received services.
  5. SB 5529 Budget notes removed monetary caps on brokerage consumers’ individual service dollars. Consumer needs will be fully funded at the level assessed in the needs assessment tool, with no caps or unmet needs. Consumers will no longer have to make limited funds stretch between support hours, technology, and employment services.
  6. SB 5529 As a result of cap removal, consumers will no longer have to go into crisis services in order to meet their needs.  This meant that consumers would not have a disruption in their familiar environment or existing case management relationship in order to have the needs met.  The process up to this point was that consumers would have to go into a “crisis” bed that at times were in a different location from their current living situation.  In conjunction with moving, a consumer was also be assigned a new “crisis” case manager and relay very personal information to someone new at a time that could be particularly stressful.  
  7. SB 626 Expanded Oregon’s Long Term Care (LTC) Ombudsman Program to include Oregonians with mental illness or developmental disabilities. Many family members, direct service workers, and consumers had expressed frustration that their concerns about resident rights, service quality, disparities in access to service, lack of choice regarding service options, and system development initiatives are not being addressed.
  8. SB 640 mandated that service needs are assessed once every three years or, if a provider requests a reassessment before the three-year period, that a reassessment will be conducted if the provider has documentation that services cannot be provided at the current funding level.  This was an improvement from the 5 year cycle that had been previously in place. Service providers at that time were forced to file an exit notice to force the county to reassess service funding.
  9. Reassessment in the Functional Needs Assessment Tool. Providers, organized through our union, advocated for consumers’ right to receive a reassessment if they believe their needs are not being met. Consumers can now request and are required to receive a reassessment within 45 days from their Personal Agent or Service Coordinator.
  10. Removal of wait list for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities seeking services within the Community First Choice Option delivery system.  Providers, organized through our union, advocated for the elimination of the wait list for individuals waiting for services from Brokerages and CDDPs.  This allows Oregonians with developmental disabilities to get their needs met without being forced to wait for their number to be called for support services.
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Care Providers: Looking for Info on Our Tentative Agreement with the State?

HCWvictoryOur SEIU Homecare Bargaining Team has reached an exciting tentative agreement with the State that increases wages and benefits, advocates for quality consumer services, and strengthens Oregon’s homecare system. We are proud of the work our members have done to make improvements for both workers and our consumers.

We couldn’t have done this without homecare providers standing strong together in our union. Providers made this possible by being members of our union, volunteering, writing emails, going to the State Capitol and advocating for Oregon families.

Members will be voting to approve this agreement over the next month. Our union will be calling you soon to talk through these details and how we as members can vote to implement our contract victories. Make sure to pick up the phone and talk through how we make this happen.

To read more about the Contract Settlement Details, click on your category:

For An Overall Contract Agreement Summary, please visit: http://www.seiu503.org/2015/08/homecare-workers-win-15-and-consumers-win-quality-care-improvements/


Homecare Workers
Contract Settlement 

Our member-elected 2015 SEIU Homecare Bargaining Team is incredibly proud of what we have been able to accomplish in the 15 years since we formed our union.  We did this together—by being members, volunteering, being active, paying our dues, writing letters, making calls, showing up to the State Capitol — and we have made our lives and the lives of Oregon’s’ Seniors and People with Disabilities better.

In 2013 our base wage was $10.20/hr—in 2017 our base wage will be $14.50 with an opportunity for $15/hr with a new training certification differential.  In 4 years, that’s up $4.80/hr and more than a 47% increase! We now have some of the best union contract standards for our wages, benefits, and homecare services in the entire country.  And we’re not stopping.

Read below for more details of the new Contract Settlement and stay tuned. Our union will be calling you soon to talk through these details and how we as members can vote to implement these new wage and benefit wins.

 ***Wage Increases***

  • 1/1/16 base pay increases to $14.00/hr
  • 2/1/17 base pay increases to $14.50/hr
  • 1/1/17 new training certification differential of $0.50/hr (see below)

***Change in Pay Dates***

Please note that there is going to be a new voucher and changes in how and when we are paid.  The State prioritized changes to our payroll systems and timelines—both due to legal reasons and also efficiency needs.  We know change isn’t fun, but it gave us an opportunity to fight for – and win – our path to $15.
Effective 1/1/16, pay periods will be the 1st through the 15th and the 16th through the last day of the month.  We will have 3 business days to submit timesheets and paychecks will be issued 8 business days after submission deadline.

 ***New Training Certification Differential to Receive $15***

We are excited about the brand new Training Differential that creates a pathway to $15/hr. Effective January 1, 2017, you will be eligible to receive $.50/hr in addition to your base rate if you complete the Professional Development Certification requirements.   The Professional Development requirements include a specific set of competency based trainings and current First Aid/CPR Certification. Visit the State’s training website today for more information on the Professional Development Certification requirements and to register for free, paid trainings at http://www.oregon.gov/dhs/spd/Pages/adv/hcc/training.aspx

 ***Other Important Information for Live-In Providers Only***

Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  It took over 70 years, but live-in care providers like us will soon have the same legal protections most American workers enjoy, such as being paid for all hours worked and earning at least minimum wage.  Some aspects are still being worked out in the courts, specifically overtime pay (time and a half pay for work beyond 40 hours/week), but we have made some big strides in the meantime.

  • We secured that we must be paid for the hours we’re required to work and ensured that our average rate is at least minimum wage. These new standards are going to represent a significant pay increase for many of us who were required to work many unpaid hours at less than minimum wage.

Please note that homecare workers will only be designated as live-in providers if they are serving consumers who have been determined eligible for live-in services by the State.

Effective 1/1/16 live-in providers will be:

  • Paid Oregon minimum wage, plus any applicable differentials. Before our combined rates for wages put us at below minimum wage;
  • Paid for at least 16 hrs/day, a significant increase from the current 9 hrs/day average
  • May receive up to 3hrs per 24hr period for care during consumer sleep hours (may be paid more than 19hrs/day only in emergency situations
  • Paid in 15 minute increments for services provided during our consumer’s normal sleep hours,
  • If 2 live-in providers are providing services to 1 consumer, the hours and pay will be divided on a pro rata basis
  • If a live-in provider is serving 2 or more consumers in the same household, they will receive no more than 16hrs/day and up to 3hrs/day for services provided during normal sleep hours (hours will be prorated across consumers.)

For An Full Overview of the Homecare Worker Contract Agreement Summary, please visit: http://www.seiu503.org/2015/08/homecare-workers-win-15-and-consumers-win-quality-care-improvements/

 


Personal Support Workers
Contract Settlement 

Our member-elected SEIU Homecare Bargaining Team is incredibly proud of what we have been able to accomplish in the 4 years since we formed our union.  We did this together—by being members, volunteering, being active, paying our dues, writing letters, making calls, showing up to the State Capitol — and we have made our lives and the lives of Oregon’s’ Seniors and People with Disabilities better.

In 2011, our base wages were around minimum wage and we had no access to healthcare, paid time off or other benefits through our care providing work.  Now, we are on a pathway to a $15/hr wage.  We have won healthcare, dental, vision, and now paid time off — all while protecting and significantly expanding funding for the services for the people we care for. In union, we are part of over 20,000 care providers across the state making sure decision makers hear our voices and do what’s right.

Read below for more details of the new Contract Settlement and stay tuned. Our union will be calling you soon to talk through these details and how we as members can vote to implement these new wage and benefit wins.

 ***Wage Increases***

  • 1/1/16 base pay increases to $14.00/hr
  • 2/1/17 base pay increases to $14.50/hr
  • 1/1/17 new training certification differential of $0.50/hr (see below)
  • For providers already making over the base wage, we will also receive two 1% Cost-Of-Living Adjustments (COLAs) 1/1/16 and again on 2/1/17. 

***Payroll System Changes***

The State prioritized changes to our payroll systems—both due to legal reasons and also efficiency needs.  We know change isn’t fun, but it gave us an opportunity to fight for – and win – our path to $15.

The State wanted to require all providers to use the online timesheet system eXPRS immediately. We were able to get this requirement delayed until July 2016 to give more time for training. Also knowing that not all providers have access to the internet, we won language that workers without access to the internet will continue to have a way to submit paper timesheets.

***New Training Certification Differential to Receive $15***

We are excited about the brand new Training Differential that creates a pathway to $15/hr. Effective January 1, 2017, you will be eligible to receive $.50/hr in addition to your base rate if you complete the Professional Development Certification requirements.   The Professional Development requirements include a specific set of competency based trainings and current First Aid/CPR Certification. Visit the State’s training website today for more information on the Professional Development Certification requirements and to register for free, paid trainings at http://www.oregon.gov/dhs/spd/Pages/adv/hcc/training.aspx

For An Full Overview of the Homecare Worker Contract Agreement Summary, please visit: http://www.seiu503.org/2015/08/homecare-workers-win-15-and-consumers-win-quality-care-improvements/


Personal Support Workers Independent Contractors
Contract Settlement 

Our member-elected 2015 SEIU Homecare Bargaining Team is incredibly proud of what we have been able to accomplish in the 4 years since we formed our union.  We did this together—by being members, volunteering, being active, paying our dues, writing letters, making calls, showing up to the State Capitol — and we have made our lives and the lives of Oregon’s People with Developmental Disabilities better.

In just 4 short years, we have won wage increases never thought possible, healthcare, dental, vision, and now paid time off—all while protecting and significantly expanding funding for the services for the people we care for. In union, we are part of over 20,000 other care providers across the state making sure state decision makers listen and do what’s right.

Read below for more details of the new Contract Settlement and stay tuned. Our union will be calling you soon to talk through these details and how we as members can vote to implement our contract victories.

Where did we start?

The State’s opening proposal was to eliminate the Personal Support Worker Independent Contractors (PSW-IC) category that you belong to. This would have moved all current providers into the broad Personal Support Worker (PSW) category with a base rate of $13.75/hr (starting in July 2015) and resulting in up to a 40% reduction for some providers. We were clear with the State that this was beyond unacceptable and we would not settle a contract with rate cuts for current providers.

With the strength of our union behind us, and after months of fighting back we made significant progress for workers as well as the people we serve:

Transition Details

The State’s initial goal was to eliminate the PSW-IC category upon settlement of the contract and have current providers transition into the broad PSW category. We didn’t believe this provided adequate time or an identity for current providers, and we pushed back to win a pathway that provides options and a reasonable timeline for PSW-IC providers

PSW-ICs will have a window between January 1 and March 31, 2016 to transition into becoming a PSW-Specialist or to pursue other options like becoming a Provider Organization.

PSW Specialist

  • We won the creation of a new title of “PSW Specialist”
  • To transition to a PSW Specialist, providers will need to enroll with the Fiscal Intermediary TNT as an employee for tax purposes.  The State will then become responsible for paying the employer portion of the FUDA, SUDA, Medicare, Social Security and associated taxes.
  • Providers do not need to complete any additional training to qualify as PSW Specialists.
  • The State will also not require PSW Specialists to carry liability insurance.

Provider Organization

  • During the months of October and November ODDS will host trainings across the state with more information on becoming a Provider Organization for those interested in pursuing that path.  The trainings will include information on the process to become a PO, the rate structure and other pertinent information.

Provider Rates:

We defeated the State’s proposal to roll back PSW-ICs to a $13.75/hr base rate. All PSW-ICs will be grandfathered in at their current rate, even if they take on new consumers in the future.

Furthermore, providers will receive a 1% raise on January 1, 2016 and another 1% raise on February 1, 2017.  This is a huge victory given the State’s initial proposal to cut rates by up to 40%.

Looking to the Future

We still have work to do! Luckily, bargaining is not the only tool in our toolbox.  We can still fight and organize around our issues outside of the bargaining table.  But in order to win on this, we need providers like you to stand together with our union. The most important way you can show your support is by becoming a member of our union.  Strength in membership is the first way we show the State that we are united to make improvements for ourselves and our consumers.

For An Full Overview of the Homecare Worker Contract Agreement Summary, please visit: http://www.seiu503.org/2015/08/homecare-workers-win-15-and-consumers-win-quality-care-improvements/


Personal Support Workers Over 50 Hours
Contract Settlement 

Our member-elected SEIU Homecare Bargaining Team is incredibly proud of what we have been able to accomplish in the 4 years since we formed our union.  We did this together—by being members, volunteering, being active, paying our dues, writing letters, making calls, showing up to the State Capitol — and we have made our lives and the lives of Oregon’s’ Seniors and People with Disabilities better.

In 2011, our base wages were around minimum wage and we had no access to healthcare, paid time off or other benefits through our care providing work.  Now, we are on a pathway to a $15/hr wage.  We have won healthcare, dental, vision, and now paid time off — all while protecting and significantly expanding funding for the services for the people we care for. In union, we are part of over 20,000 care providers across the state making sure decision makers hear our voices and do what’s right.

Read below for more details of the new Contract Settlement and stay tuned. Our union will be calling you soon to talk through these details and how we as members can vote to implement these new wage and benefit wins.

 ***Wage Increases***

  • 1/1/16 base pay increases to $14.00/hr
  • 2/1/17 base pay increases to $14.50/hr
  • 1/1/17 new training certification differential of $0.50/hr (see below)
  • For providers already making over the base wage, we will also receive two 1% Cost-Of-Living Adjustments (COLAs) 1/1/16 and again on 2/1/17.

***Change in Pay Dates***

Please note that there is going to be a new voucher system and changes in how and when we are paid.  The State prioritized changes to our payroll systems and timelines—both due to legal reasons and also efficiency needs.  We know change isn’t fun, but it gave us an opportunity to fight for – and win – our path to $15.

The State wanted to require all providers to use the online timesheet system eXPRS immediately. We were able to get this requirement delayed until July 2016 to give more time for training. Also knowing that not all providers have access to the internet, we won language that workers without access to the internet will continue to have a way to submit paper timesheets.

***New Training Certification Differential to Receive $15***

We are excited about the brand new Training Differential that creates a pathway to $15/hr. Effective January 1, 2017, you will be eligible to receive $.50/hr in addition to your base rate if you complete the Professional Development Certification requirements.   The Professional Development requirements include a specific set of competency based trainings and current First Aid/CPR Certification. Visit the State’s training website today for more information on the Professional Development Certification requirements and to register for free, paid trainings: http://www.oregon.gov/dhs/spd/Pages/adv/hcc/training.aspx

*** New Regulations around Total Hours Worked***

New policy changes outside of contract negotiations are being rolled out by the Oregon Department of Human Services Office of Developmental Disabilities Services (DHS ODDS) and will limit workers to working 50 hours/week per consumer. This policy will be implemented on a rolling basis as the consumer’s plan is renewed.

Our union pushed for – and secured – exemptions to the new regulation in order to provide flexibility for better care quality and worker opportunities.

Q: How is this policy different than the 50/hr week cap that was discussed in bargaining?

In bargaining, we were able to push back against the State’s proposal for an across-the-board hours cap that would limit the total number of hours we could work per week.

The new policy places restrictions on consumer plans, allowing DHS ODDS to put limitations on consumer plans as they are developed. Unfortunately, this lets the State get around the agreements we made during bargaining.

While personal support workers can continue to work more than 50 hours/week with multiple consumers because of our negotiations, this new policy will prevent us from working more than 50 hours/week with just one consumer.

Q: Will there be exceptions to this new rule?

Alongside other stakeholders, our union pushed the State to develop exceptions to the new limitation to provide more flexibility for higher quality care. Some of the possible exceptions to the hour limitations will include workforce shortage areas, emergent care situations and unique/complex consumer needs.

Q: How do we apply for an exception?

Any exception requests should start with the consumer’s CDDP or Brokerage by contacting the case manager. In order to qualify for an exception, documentation will have to be provided demonstrating that other resources were researched, referrals were made to appropriate resources, and that no alternatives are available that permit the 50 hour limitation to remain in place.

We are continuing to push the State for more transparency on how this new policy and the exceptions process are implemented. We will continue to keep you updated as we get more information over the coming weeks.

For An Full Overview of the Homecare Worker Contract Agreement Summary, please visit: http://www.seiu503.org/2015/08/homecare-workers-win-15-and-consumers-win-quality-care-improvements/

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Homecare workers win $15 and consumers win quality care improvements!

Our member-elected, member-run homecare bargaining team has made history by winning a path to $15 for over 20,000 Oregon Homecare workers!

Workers’ current base wage of $13.75 will increase to $14.00 January 1, 2016 and then $14.50 February 1, 2017—and workers who complete seven employer-paid training classes with first aid and CPR will also receive a $0.50/hr training certification differential (see below for more details).

This historic victory belongs to all of us. In 1999, Oregon Homecare workers had no union, no voice on the job, and no ability to make a living. Many of us earned less than minimum wage. We were considered “domestic servants.” Sixteen short years and lots of collective action later, our work is coming out of the shadows. Our consumers have increased support to live their lives with dignity and autonomy, and we workers can survive and provide for our families.

These huge victories have made us the target of some out-of-state, anti-public-services groups like the Freedom Foundation. They are trying to weaken our union by encouraging care providers to drop their membership, but homecare workers are showing them that we know better. If this historic win has showed us anything, it’s that our strength is our membership, and through our strength, we can move mountains!

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CONTRACT SETTLEMENT DETAILS

Fair Wages to Recruit and Retain Quality Providers

  • Four year contract July 1, 2015- June 30, 2019, with a wage reopener in 2017.
  • The base rate will increase from $13.75 to $14.00 effective January 1, 2016.
  • The base rate will again increase to $14.50, effective February 1, 2017.
  • Providers making above $13.75/hr will receive 1% COLAs January 1, 2016 and February 1, 2017. This is a huge win considering the State’s initial proposal was to cut these providers down to base rate.
  • New Training Certification Differential that’s $0.50/hr effective January 1, 2017.

Fair Labor Standards Act

  • All Hours Worked- APD live-in providers will be paid for at least 16 hours a day starting in January 2016. APD Live-in providers are currently only paid an average of 9 hours a day.
  • State minimum wage- Many APD live-in providers have been making an average wage that is less than state minimum wage. Starting January 1, 2016 all APD live-in providers make at least state minimum wage.
  • Hours Cap- The State wanted to establish a cap limiting the total number of hours a provider can work per week. We were not going to agree to any type of worker hours cap until the State also has to implement overtime. The State agreed to back off of their weekly hours cap proposal until the overtime requirement is resolved in the courts.
  • Paid Travel Time- Starting January 1, 2016 providers can be paid for their travel time directly between clients at the base rate.

Fair Shot Legislative Wins

  • We helped pass House Bill 2960 which sets-up up a new state retirement option that will allow providers to have a secure way to save for retirement. The plan will be operational in 2017.
  • We also helped pass Senate Bill 454 which expands the Paid Time-Off benefit to 5 days a year for qualifying hourly workers.

Payroll System Changes

  • The State wanted to require all providers to use the online timesheet system immediately. We were able to get this requirement delayed until July 2016 to give more time for training.
  • Knowing that not all providers have access to the internet, we won language that workers without access to the internet continue to have a way to submit paper timesheets.

A Stronger Voice for Providers to Advocate for Quality

  • Advocating for Consumer Services- we protected language in our contract that guarantees consumer services/hours will not be reduced as a result of improvements won for providers.

Rights & Respect

  • Issues Committee- We created a Joint Issues Committee for Homecare and Personal Support Workers.
  • Worker Credentials- Providers will be better notified in advance of when they need to renew their background check or Provider Enrollment Agreement including a 120 and 60 day reminder.

 

Learn more about the benefits and changes that will impact you. Click here to read about specific contract changes for homecare worker categories including APD providers, DD providers, independent contractors, and more.

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Homecare worker bargaining update: Getting closer to a contract

Together, members of our union are standing strong! We’re on the cusp of winning some of the strongest wages and benefits for care providers in the country.

Yesterday our team was in bargaining with the State until 3am for the third week in a row. We’re committed to a fair contract, even if that means going late into the night—or whatever it takes to win improvements for providers and the people we serve.

Our hard work and dedication is paying off. Yesterday, the State formally counter-proposed increasing our base wage to $14.50 over the next two years. This is a huge step forward in winning a living wage for all providers—but our work isn’t done and we’re not stopping. Our union is still fighting for $15/hour by June 2017. In addition, we’re still working though State-proposed changes to our payroll system to make sure we have access to timely pay and a streamlined process.

Just a mile away from where our bargaining team was working hard and making progress toward one of the best homecare contracts in the nation, the out-of-state, out-of-touch Freedom Foundation was holding a press conference about how they plan to move into Oregon and attack our union.

They’re coming after us with lawsuits and money from a couple of out-of-state, far-right conservative donors. On the other hand, we Oregon homecare workers are coming together in the tens of thousands to stand up for ourselves and our consumers. There’s power in numbers, and we’re not about to let a handful of out-of-state lawyers try to take away from what we have accomplished together through our union!

Our next bargaining session is scheduled for August 26th. Stay tuned for more details on our fight to win a historic contract.

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Homecare Bargaining Update: Getting closer to a contract

ReddingYoungSotinStewartYour member-elected SEIU 503 bargaining team was back at the table with the State on Tuesday, August 4. For the second week in a row, we met with the State until 4am as we continue to go the extra mile for quality care and quality jobs. Our team members have been working many hours (in addition to their care provider work) and driving hundreds of miles to make sure we win a strong union contract–for us and our consumers.

Important bargaining wins so far:

  • Protected language in our contract that guarantees consumer services/hours will not be reduced as a result of improvements won for providers.
  • Stopped the State from reducing the pay rates of providers making above the $13.75.
  • Providers will be better notified in advance of when they need to renew their background check or Provider Enrollment Agreement.
  • APD live-in providers will be paid for at least 16 hours a day starting in January 2017. APD Live-in providers are currently only paid an average of 9 hours a day.
  • The State wanted to establish a cap limiting the total number of hours a provider can work per week. We were not going to agree to any type of worker hours cap until the State also had to implement overtime. The State agreed to back off of their weekly hours cap proposal until the overtime requirement is resolved in the courts.

Our remaining priorities for bargaining are:

  • Win a pathway to raise the base rate from $13.75/hr to $15/hr by July of 2017 because all care providers deserve to make a living wage!
  • Win fair cost of living increases for all providers already making above $13.75/hr.
  • Continuing to push the State to be fair and responsible in how they transition away from the PSW-Independent Contractor Classification, which includes trying to establish a way to recruit highly skilled providers in the future.
  • Ensure that workers without access to the internet continue to have a way to submit paper timesheets.

Our success at the state capitol and at the bargaining table has caught the attention of out-of-state special interests groups. The Freedom Foundation, a multi-million dollar anti-union and anti-public service worker pressure group, has been taking out newspaper and radio ads, and recently started spam mailing, asking us to drop our membership. Go to http://www.whatisthefreedomfoundation.org to learn more about the Freedom Foundation’s actions in Washington State.

They claim you have nothing to lose by resigning your membership. The truth is, you have everything to lose. It’s easy to forget how about a decade ago many providers were paid less than minimum wage. We and those we care for were without a voice in the Legislature. In union, we’ve raised base wages to $13.75; we’ve protected dignity, autonomy, and choice for our consumers. Through our union, we’ve won benefits like healthcare, paid time off, and professional development–and it’s all happened because workers like us have chosen to join together in our union.

We have already accomplished a lot this year, but our work is not done yet. We need to continue to stand together in our union if we want to win a contract that lifts wages for all providers.

Our next bargaining session is August 12. We are prepared to bargain late into the night if that what it takes to bring home this victory for providers and consumers.

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Homecare bargaining update: On the brink of a huge victory

18772591978_2dd2e606a5_kYour member-elected SEIU 503 bargaining team was at the table until 4am on Monday pushing for a fair contract that protects services for clients and lifts wages for providers.

We have secured legislative funding to protect and expand services and hours for the people we serve—and we believe that we are now on the brink of winning a path to $15 per hour for care providers. This would be a historic victory on top of the gains we’ve already won this year, including improving the Paid Time-Off benefit and access to a retirement savings plan.

The fact that we’re so close to this historic win has caught the attention of out-of-state special interests that will do anything they can to undercut our work. The Freedom Foundation, a multi-million dollar anti-union and anti-public service worker pressure group, has been taking out newspaper and radio ads, and recently started spam mailing homecare workers, asking workers to drop our membership. Click here to learn more about the Freedom Foundation’s actions in Washington State.

Why would they do this? The Freedom Foundation operatives have a long track record of undermining public leaders and workers who believe in vital public services. They want to destroy our union because they have seen that when we join our voices and resources together, we have been incredibly effective at improving and expanding services.

They claim you have nothing to lose by resigning your membership. The truth is, you have everything to lose. It’s easy to forget how about a decade ago many providers were paid less than minimum wage. We and those we care for were without a voice in the Legislature. In union, we’ve raised base wages to $13.75; we’ve protected dignity, autonomy, and choice for our consumers. Through our union, we’ve won benefits like healthcare, paid time off, and professional development—and it’s all happened because workers like us have chosen to join together in our union.

Our next bargaining session is August 4. Stay tuned as we continue to work hard together to finish up our bargaining work.

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