UDW & SEIU: Defending CA's Homecare Workers
In 2014 ART NOT WAR joined the fight keep California’s IHSS (In-Home Supportive Services) program alive and well. The IHSS plan is an important step forward for home healthcare in our country. It allows family members (and professionals) to care for loved ones with major health issues in their own homes, as a job, paid for by the state. If it weren’t for IHSS, many patients with serious health concerns would be forced to seek care in public institutions at far greater cost and in a much less nurturing environment.
When California Gov. Jerry Brown proposed capping hours for IHSS workers as a way to avoid paying overtime, SEIU (the Service Employees International Union) asked ART NOT WAR to create Home Care: Every Hour Counts—a video starring IHSS workers and the people they care for, educating California voters about the program and the fight for its workers’ basic rights. The video helped rally hundreds of thousands to the defense of IHSS, successfully overturning Gov. Brown’s proposed cap on provider hours.
Next, ART NOT WAR collaborated with United Domestic Workers of America—the Homecare Providers Union—whose mission is to advocate for IHSS caregivers throughout California. New Caregivers, our first video for UDW, educated recently initiated UDW members on the union’s benefits and challenges. The video was shared widely online and as part of a DVD package (produced by ART NOT WAR) sent out to more than 8,500 new members.
In November, 2014, as part of National Family Caregivers Month, ART NOT WAR honored UDW members with a series of videos called Thank You Caregivers. ANW traveled to the homes of UDW families in San Diego, Orange County, and Sacramento, to hear caregivers tell their stories and surprising each with a day of pampering–housecleaning, gourmet meals, even a professional art lesson. The smiles on the UDW members’ faces were unforgettable and our series was featured widely in local media and national venues like the Huffington Post.