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Neutral Factfinder Rules That Fresno County Home Care Wage Cuts Should Be Stopped
Date:6/12/2009

FRESNO, Calif., June 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An independent factfinder jointly hired by Fresno County and SEIU UHW to resolve the on-going dispute over the County's plan to cut the wages and benefits of 10,000 home care workers in the Fresno area, ruled against the County today and ordered that the cuts be halted. The Fresno Board of Supervisors is expected to vote whether to accept the findings on Tuesday.

SEIU UHW invoked their right to arbitration after the Board of Supervisors voted to reduce the wages and benefits of homecare workers. This is the second factfinding that has ruled against the County's planned cuts.

According to the factfinder there is "no necessity for a reduction in wage/benefit levels and therefore there should be no change in such levels." He ordered the County to adopt the report immediately.

The factfinder ruled that Fresno County will receive enough additional money through the economic stimulus to offset any reductions in revenue the County is currently experiencing. According to the factfinder "the County will benefit substantially by the retroactive increase of federal funding to October, 2008." ARRA has already made available close to $2 billion of the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) promised to California. The funding provides much needed financial assistance for counties struggling with huge budget deficits.

SEIU has also filed for an emergency injunction to stop the cuts from going into effect on July 1st. The lawsuit, which was brought on behalf of individual consumers and SEIU, argues that the planned cuts put seniors and people with disabilities at risk and violate the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and federal Medicaid Law.

California's In-Home Supportive Services program provides vital services to many of California's most vulnerable citizens. The services provided by home care workers allow the elderly and people with disabilities to remain safely in their homes, reducing the need for more restrictive and costly institutional care - resulting in more than $1 billion in annual savings to the State of California.

SEIU UHW represents more than 150,000 healthcare workers across California and our members provide first-rate care to millions of Californians. We are a proud affiliate of the 2 million+ member Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Learn more at www.seiu-uhw.org


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SOURCE SEIU UHW
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