On September 27, SEIU AZ completed our successful first election as Local 48, achieving another milestone in our quest to build a union that is entirely of, by and for our members.
Together, we elected excellent leaders who are devoted to creating a better future for all working families in Arizona and strengthening our relationships with the communities we serve. We congratulate our new officers!
Congratulations to our new officers!
President: Maya Castillo
Maya has been an active member of the Pima County Chapter for several years, and has served as Chapter Chair since 2010. Among her most recent honors, The Tucson Daily Star named her one of Tucson’s “40 Under 40” – an award presented to the city’s most influential young leaders.
Vice President: Molly McGovern
Molly has served as Political Director for SEIU AZ for six years, working with State, County, City and Town officials, achieving victories in protecting the rights of public employees.
Treasurer: Lorraine Dorame, Pima County Chapter member
Secretary: Edwina Vogan, Arizona State Chapter member
Pima County Chapter
Chapter Chair: John Becerra
Vice Chair – Administrative/Technical/Clerical: Sofia Blue
Vice Chair – Labor and Trades: Rafael Santa Cruz
Executive Board: Patrick McGinnis and Carlos Ochoa
Executive Board: Mark Hardenburg
Trustee: James Salazar
Under the Local Constitution each term of office is for three years starting October 1, 2012. With the leadership of these new officers, we look forward to a bright future for every SEIU AZ member!
PCOA for All Inc. Attendant Care Workers take care of vulnerable seniors and disabled persons in Pima County and help to keep them in the comfort of their own homes.
They haven’t had a raise in seven years, and lost 92¢ per hour in retirement funding when they were transferred from Pima County to private for profit PCOA for All, but the board has refused their request for a modest increase.
On January 24, the Pima County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution supporting SEIU’s request for PCOA For All Inc. Attendant Care Workers to receive a wage increase. Click here to read the resolution.
From Arizona Daily Star reporter Becky Pallack:
Supes side with union in home-care pay talks
The Board of Supervisors took sides Tuesday in a labor dispute involving home care workers who are former county employees.In a 3-2 vote, the board supported the Service Employees International Union in a resolution that encourages the union and PCOA for All Inc. to agree on a “reasonable wage increase.”
Republican Supervisors Ann Day and Ray Carroll were opposed, while the three board Democrats approved.
In the latest round of negotiations, which began in May, workers have asked for a 22-cent pay raise for 97 workers who provide home care for members of the Arizona Long Term Care System.
The workers are paid $9.60 an hour.
The approved resolution also affirms the workers’ claim that when the county turned them over from the public Pima Health System to the private PCOA for All they were promised the same pay and benefits.
On December 15, the PCOA For All Inc. Board of Directors rejected a proposal for home care workers to receive a 22 cent increase from $9.60 to $9.82 per hour. The company’s bargaining team, including the CEO, had recommended supporting the modest wage increase. Representatives have been bargaining since May 31 to secure a raise and improve the quality of care clients receive by providing additional training. The workers were formerly employed by Pima County and transitioned to PCOA for All at the end of 2010.
SEIU members met last week with the Pima County Board of Health who agreed to support an earlier union proposal for a 40 cents per hour increase and send a letter to the PCOA for All’s Board of Directors requesting that the board either approve the pay increase or provide a compelling reason why they can’t afford the raise.
“Although AHCCCS has cut rates to home care agencies, they still receive an average of $15 per hour for home care services provided,” said Tina Puckett, a long-time home care worker and a member of the bargaining committee. “There is money available to give us a modest raise that will reduce turnover and improve the quality of care that clients receive. We want to partner with PCOA for All to provide training, but we can’t partner with them if they are denying us this modest increase and the basic respect we deserve.”
The union bargaining team has already identified several areas in the company’s budget which could be used to fund this modest wage increase. Workers have not had a wage increase in over seven years. The company’s management enjoys an assortment of employer paid benefits that front-line workers who care for patients do not have.
Home care is the fastest growing occupation in the country and the need for home care workers will increase with aging baby boomers and continuing consumer and policy shifts to provide more home-based services versus more costly and less consumer friendly options. There are over 3,500 home care workers in Pima County. SEIU Arizona is committed to reaching out to help raise standards across the board with all home care agencies in Pima county.
SEIU represents nearly half a million home care workers nationwide and has developed extensive training programs and partnerships with public and private employers and other stakeholders to improve the quality of care, improve working conditions and enhance and preserve funding for home care programs.
For more information, contact Suguey Hernandez, SEIU Pima County Organizer, at 520-247-4617 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEIU State members Jack York, Tomás Pino, D. B. White and Chandler chapter member Mark Hardenburg stood with thousands of other members, allies and friends and marched on the Capitol in Washington, D. C., from December 5 – 9, braving the cold and rain to demand that Congress work together to create policies that will restore the American Dream.
“Blog for Arizona” author, David Safier, joined our group and had this observation: “One important thing I learned from the week was how committed the SEIU is to getting the word out about problems with income disparity and joblessness in the country. They were a major presence in the Take Back week.” Read more of his blog here.
As Congress deliberates the extension of unemployment insurance benefits for more than 2 million people and the deficit reduction recommendations of the Super Committee—which could include devastating cuts that would destroy millions of jobs—we reminded elected leaders to represent all Americans, not just the richest 1%.
Our members spent all day Tuesday in Sen. Jon Kyl’s office, to tell him that his Arizona constituents want him to advocate for all his voters, not just his wealthy donors. CNN joined them and posted this story on their website.
Wednesday, we marched on K Street, protesting the influence of lobbyists and their money on politicians, as the Washington Post reported.
And Thursday, we participated in a prayer vigil, with unemployed folks and faith leaders, then marched to the Capitol, demanding that Speaker of the House, John Boehner to demand that he stop blocking efforts to create jobs. Read more from the Associated Press.
Wearing stickers that simply said, “$10,” SEIU’s Pima County members, PCOA members, friends and allies, attended the Pima County Board of Heath meeting on December 8 to fight for a raise for PCOA For All, Inc. home care workers. The workers have not had a raise in seven years.
SEIU Pima Chapter President, Maya Castillo and PCOA Bargaining Team spokesperson, Tina Puckett, asked that the the board provide a letter of support for the workers’ request for a raise to $10 per hour, and the same bargaining rights they had before they were transferred from Pima County’s employ to PCOA For All, Inc.
From The Arizona Daily Star: “The board unanimously supported the request, saying state contract money should go primarily to patient care. The board’s letter will also tell PCOA for All that it would like to hear from the company if it has a compelling reason not to pay a wage increase.”
SEIU members already know that Pima SEIU Chapter President Maya Castillo is an exceptionally effective leader. Now, the Arizona Daily Star has recognized her, too, honoring Maya as one of Old Pueblo’s “40 Under 40.” She was selected by a judging panel from 250 nominations, based on her professional accomplishments, leadership qualities and community impact.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be selected for the Arizona Daily Star’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2011,” Maya said. “I really owe tremendous thanks to my wonderful family who allow me to put time and effort away from them and to my fellow SEIU Pima members (my other family) who work alongside with me to accomplish great things in a right-to-work state.”
Since her election as SEIU Chapter President in August, 2010, Maya has won several remarkable victories for Pima County employees. Here are just a few highlights:
Faced with proposed increases in health insurance premiums and a two-year deal, Maya led members to fight back, asking the Pima Board of Supervisors for changes. As a result, the Board agreed to pay 83.3% of the increased costs and revised the plan to one year, giving SEIU the opportunity to have a say in selection of the health care plan in the following year.
Next, Maya organized SEIU members and successfully petitioned the Board of Supervisors to approve a 1% raise for Pima County employees, to offset the increase in costs for the Arizona State Retirement System. The raise was approved and workers received the raise starting July 1, 2011.
The community has benefited from Maya’s leadership, too, as she brings members together to volunteer for projects ranging from a Back-to-School drive for clothing and supplies, to the “Santa Cruz River Clean-up Day” and “Family Read Aloud Night” at the Santa Rosa Branch of the public library.
Maya has accomplished all this — and more — while working fulltime at the Santa Rosa Library and raising beautiful family. Perhaps most amazing, Maya gave birth to her second child, Magdalena, on November 10, 2010. Within a few hours, she had already sent her first message to let SEIU members know we had another fighter on the team!
Maya will be honored at the “40 Under 40” awards breakfast on October 6 at the Doubletree Hotel.
The rally was held on the historic bridge over the Grand Canal on 15th Ave., north of Indian School Rd. The aging bridge was one of several structures in Arizona that are structurally deficient.