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Sacramento Homecare Workers' Pay, Healthcare Guaranteed
Date:6/8/2009

SEIU UHW negotiators and County officials preserve funding levels

SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The members of the SEIU UHW bargaining team representing homecare workers in Sacramento County are lauding an agreement with the County that will guarantee current wages and healthcare benefits in the face of economic distress. County officials have worked with the union to offset losses in local revenue with federal stimulus funds to assure no loss of pay for homecare workers.

"This is a perfect example of what we can accomplish when our union and local officials work together," said SEIU UHW bargaining committee member and homecare worker Martha Cobos. "This decision means that those who care for society's most vulnerable will be able to keep doing this important work."

The current wage for homecare workers in Sacramento County is $10.40 an hour, plus $.70 for benefits. All across the state, politicians - including the governor - have threatened to slash homecare pay and benefits to make up for losses in state and local tax revenue. SEIU UHW has maintained that the federal stimulus money is designed to offset exactly this kind of deficit, and Sacramento officials agree.

"This is the model for all county officials and the state government to follow," said SEIU UHW Trustee Eliseo Medina. "The wrong place to cut costs is on the backs of homecare workers, for both moral and financial reasons. Remember, homecare saves vital taxpayer money that would otherwise be spent on more costly institutional care and unemployment for displaced workers."

In another positive development for County homecare workers, County officials have agreed to work to settle a new contract for homecare workers well before the November 30 expiration date. Negotiations are scheduled to begin in late July and SEIU UHW bargainers are optimistic that a progressive contract is possible.

"We are a strong union and will work hard to defend and increase our pay and benefits," said John Campbell, who is also a member of the bargaining committee. "We look forward to working with the County to hammer out a contract and take care of our members so they can focus on their important work."

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.

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.

CONTACT: Pete Janhunen, 510/587-4588 (office), 510/502-2457 (cell)


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SOURCE SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West
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