Whether you are an IHSS provider or a family child care provider, you work hard to not only earn a living, but to ensure that those in your care thrive. There are so many ways that we show up every day as heroes for our clients, our communities, and our fellow union members. These are some of our stories:
Meet Astrid Zuniga. A loving care provider to her 23-year-old son, Manny, who has autism, Astrid has also served as our union’s Vice President since 2016. She is a passionate advocate for legislation that empowers care providers and protects and uplifts people living with disabilities, like her son.
This year, Astrid worked alongside UDW leaders and community allies to successfully advocate for SB 882, a bill that will help people with developmental disabilities and mental illness during interactions with police, by creating an advisory group within the Attorney General’s office to make necessary improvements to the training police officers receive.
It took months of hard work and long hours of lobbying legislators, but in September, Governor Newsom finally signed SB 882 into law. This is a huge win and a great step forward as we continue to fight to protect the safety of our clients in interactions with law enforcement.
Meet Tuyet Nguyen. While most UDW members dedicate their passion and attention to IHSS or family child care, Tuyet does both. She has been a family child care provider for over 20 years, and last year, after 10 long years of unpaid care work, she officially became an IHSS provider for her brother, who lives with Alzheimer’s.
Every day, Tuyet makes sure that her brother is well taken care of while also giving the children in her daycare the attention, love, and education they need. She is grateful that she has a union to stand up for her rights as both an IHSS and a family child care provider because in the end, she knows this is what she is meant to be doing—giving back to her community and her family.
Meet Rosalia Santos. She is an IHSS provider to two elderly women in her community. She is passionate about her work because she sees the difference she makes in her clients’ lives—from the grocery runs to the doctor’s appointments, the cooking and cleaning to monitoring a client’s blood pressure and medicine. She knows that her work allows her clients to stay in the comfort of their home and live out their golden years in a place they love and worked so hard for.
Rosalia is a compassionate and loving care provider who will go above and beyond so that her clients get what every person deserves—love, company, and proper care—making her an everyday hero to those in her care.
Meet Luz Cedeno. She provides IHSS care for her mother who lives with severe arthritis, and she’s a passionate union member who joined UDW over 12 years ago. Luz is currently a member of the Orange County political council as well as the bargaining team, actively attending Board of Supervisors meetings, and speaking up about the many reasons providers deserve higher wages and better benefits.
Like so many of us, Luz understands the challenges care workers face, and that the solutions can only come when we have supportive elected officials who recognize and prioritize our work and invest in our programs. “There are so many people who can’t get proper care because we don’t get proper pay,” she says.
Bargaining in Orange County has been an uphill battle so far, but Luz knows that we can change the trajectory of care work by working together. Luz challenges us to get more involved in county bargaining, as well as our local elections. “We need to vote in November to make sure we elect people who support the IHSS program and are willing to pay us the living wages we deserve.”
With so many IHSS contracts expiring at the end of this year, we need you to help secure living wages and good benefits. Our voices are stronger when we are united, so let’s work together to win the best possible contracts. Contact your local office to find out how you can be involved IHSS bargaining in your county today!