November 21, 2013

Lisa Adler

Caring Across Generations: Reflecting on 2013 and Building for 2014

2013 has been an exciting year for Caring Across Generations – a national campaign Jobs With Justice co-anchors with the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Here are a few highlights from the past year:

Mother’s Day at the Capitol Jump-starts Momentum for Senate and House Resolutions

On May 6 and 7,  more than 100 care workers, consumers and activists representing 26 different states came together for a congressional briefing and lobby day in Washington, D.C. They shared powerful testimony and attended more than 40 Congressional meetings. The group was joined by Senator Tom Harkin and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, who introduced resolutions – S. Res 128 and H.Res 197 – calling for a solution to the long-term care crisis facing millions of American families.  Since then, the advocacy work of ALIGN, Chicago Jobs with Justice, Bay Area Care Council, Massachusetts Jobs with Justice, and dozens of partners across the country has led to 15 senators and representatives sponsoring this important resolution!

Victories for Workers Achieved in States Across the Country

  • In May, 7,500 homecare workers in Vermont won collective bargaining rights, now represented by AFSCME!
  • Homecare workers in Missouri cleared the last legal hurdle to their organizing and are preparing to negotiate their first contract in 2014!
  • On September 13, the Department of Labor took the long awaited step to bring 2.5 million homecare workers under minimum wage and overtime protection, ending 75 years of unfair exclusion from the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • On September 26, California became the third state in the country to pass a domestic worker bill of rights.  This seven-year organizing effort will impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of women in California and beyond.

2014 is already shaping up to be a big year for the campaign. Here’s a preview of what’s in store:

  • Colorado Jobs with Justice is gearing up to fight for paid family leave so that no Coloradan has to choose between caring for a loved one and keeping their job.
  • ALIGN will build off the release of its citywide report, “Caring Across New York,” by advancing policies that support caregivers and care consumers.
  • Maine Food and Medicine is gearing up to organize faith leaders, seniors and care workers to continue to press Senator Collins to support the vision of Caring Across Generations.
  • Chicago Jobs with Justice is preparing to go all in with the Coalition of Household Workers to win a domestic worker bill of rights in Illinois.
  • Missouri will continue its fight to win Medicaid expansion for tens of thousands of Missourians.
  • The Vermont Workers’ Center will organize to include long term care in the universal health care plan it helped win for Vermont residents.

Caring Across Generations partners across the country will be gearing up to introduce and win state long-term care policy, celebrate seniors across the country on Grandparent’s Day, September 7, 2014, engage tens of thousands of senior voters, organize and train care workers, honor family caregivers, and more. Together, we are transforming the care system in this country. See you next year on the front lines!

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