What will happen when it goes into effect?
If you’re signed up on the new membership card, your union dues will come out of your account after your paycheck is deposited, instead of before like they do now.
If you’re not signed up on the new membership card, or you are not paid through a direct deposit, you will no longer be able to pay your union dues, which could result in a loss of membership and benefits.
Note: We are exploring options for people who are not on direct deposit, but right now the best thing you can do it sign up for direct deposit and sign the new membership card.
What is the “CMS Rule” and what does it mean for homecare and personal support workers in Oregon?
In May, the politicians in charge or the Center For Medicaid Services in Washington, D.C. issued a “rule” designed to stop homecare workers and personal support workers from choosing to have union membership dues and benefits payments deducted from their paychecks. This practice, also known as “payroll deduction,” is commonly used to pay for health insurance or contribute to a retirement plan, and is the way most union members – including teachers, police officers and firefighters – pay their union dues.
The rule would also prohibit homecare and personal support workers from participating in an automatic retirement savings program like OregonSaves. Winning an employer-funded retirement plan is one of our top priorities and this rule would block one of our best pathways to achieving that.
When will it go into effect?
The rule goes into effect on July 5. However, you will not see any change in your paycheck or dues payment right away. Governor Kate Brown will not implement this rule while it’s being litigated in the courts. (SEIU and the Attorneys General of several states are suing to overturn the rule.) It’s unclear when the rule will be implemented at this time, but SEIU will inform you in advance.
What can I do to protect my membership and benefits?
- Check to make sure you’re signed up on the new card. You can do so by calling 1-844-503-7348.
- Make sure you are enrolled in direct deposit (which means your pay is deposited directly into your bank account, instead of a mailed check).
- Make a contribution to CAPE, our member-driven political action committee. CAPE isn’t politics as usual, it’s how homecare workers make their voices heard on issues that matter to us, and it’s how we’re able to build power that protects us when we’re attacked.
What if I don’t have a bank account?
Our union is working on systems to ensure that people who are not on direct deposit are still able to remain members, but those systems are not in place at this time. (If this is frustrating, that’s exactly what the politicians in D.C. want. Fight back by signing the new card and enrolling in direct deposit so you can continue being a union member and getting your union benefits.)
Why are the politicians in charge of CMS doing this?
The rule is a transparent attempt to interfere with homecare workers’ freedom to choose to stand together in a union and advocate for higher wages, skilled training, and basic benefits like healthcare and sick leave. The current Administration is anti-union and does not want to see us organized, so they’re attaching the infrastructure that makes our union tick.
The bottom line is that this is your union. It’s your pay. It’s your choice. No politician should be able to tell you what you can’t and can’t do with your money.