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Stop the CMS Rule, Support Home Care Workers' Freedom to Pay Dues by Payroll Deduction

WHEREAS:

On July 12, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that funds Medicaid home care programs, which provide home care to seniors and people with disabilities, posted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that seeks to restrict home care workers who are independent providers from paying their union dues and benefits by payroll deduction; and

WHEREAS:

More than 100,000 home care workers, proudly represented by UDW/AFSCME Local 3930 in California, are engaged in lifesaving and compassionate work such as preparing meals, monitoring health and assisting with bathing, clothing and toileting needs. This allows our loved ones, seniors and people with disabilities to remain in their own homes with dignity and enables them to enjoy life with their families and communities; and

WHEREAS:

Home care workers are majority female and people of color, and have already withstood attacks on their freedom to organize a union in the 2014 U.S. Supreme Court decision Harris v. Quinn, which was the precursor to the Janus decision; and

WHEREAS:

Despite these attacks on their union, home care workers have emerged stronger than ever, winning overtime and sick day protections and restoring services for their clients by their selfless and heroic efforts to protect home care programs through their advocacy and political action to support meaningful and accessible care for all; and

WHEREAS:

Our nation’s policies should promote collective bargaining for home care workers to increase wages and benefits. It is estimated that the senior population will more than double, to 80 million, in the next two decades, and they will increasingly rely on home care workers to remain in their homes so they can live their lives with dignity and independence; and

WHEREAS:

The CMS rule is an explicit attempt by the Trump administration and right-wing groups such as the Koch-backed State Policy Network and the Freedom Foundation, to limit the participation of home care workers in our country’s democratic process and institutions; and

WHEREAS:

If the Trump administration succeeds in forbidding home care workers from choosing to pay their union dues directly by payroll deduction, it will limit the voice of home care workers and their clients and the entire labor movement will be weaker. The CMS NPRM, if implemented, will drastically reduce access to quality services provided by members of AFSCME.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:

That AFSCME condemns the CMS proposed rule to eliminate the option of payroll deduction as a blatant attempt to silence women and minority workers and those in our lowest paid professions and will oppose implementation of the rule; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED:

That AFSCME supports quality services and programs for seniors and people with disabilities that respect their independence and choice to live at home; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED:

That AFSCME urges all our union brothers and sisters across the nation to submit letters to CMS expressing opposition to this rule change and in support of home care workers, our communities and in particular those who require home care to live full and meaningful lives.

SUBMITTED BY:
Doug Moore, Executive Director and Delegate
Editha Adams, President and Delegate
UDW/AFSCME Local 3930
California

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