Published: October 27, 2023

What’s in this issue: 

  • Paper Ballots Going Out October 30
  • Avoid the Waitlist: Childcare for Workers 
  • Having Trouble Reaching Your Caseworker? 
  • Become a Union Steward! 

Homecare Contract Ratification Vote: Mail-in Ballots Go Out Oct. 30

Ratification for the new tentative agreement is happening now! While electronic voting has now closed and thousands of in-home care providers have already voted online, you still have a chance to vote by mail.

All eligible homecare, personal support and personal care attendants who HAVE NOT already voted electronically will receive a paper ballot in your mailboxes. Ballots will be mailed out to members on October 30. If you have not yet voted, watch for this ballot in the coming week. If you do not receive your ballot by the first week of November, please contact your SEIU organizer or call the SEIU 503 Member Assistance Center at 844-503-SEIU (7348).

Completed ballots must be received by Ryder Election Services by November 15, 2023 at 5:00 p.m.

Check for more information about our tentative contract agreement.


Avoid The Waitlist: Enroll in Employment Related Day Care by November 3rd

The Employment Related Day Care program (ERDC) helps families who are working, in school, or receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) pay for childcare, including registration fees.

In the last few months, thousands of families have joined the program. After November 3, ERDC will open a waitlist because of the increased demand and limited funding.

You can apply for ERDC by 11:59pm on November 3, or be screened for the waitlist beginning November 4. Applications are available online, by phone, or in person at a local office. When you apply for ERDC, you can also check your eligibility for other assistance programs such as SNAP food benefits and Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid).

Click here to learn more about the ERDC program and how to sign up.

Having Trouble Reaching Your Caseworker? DHS Implements “Worker of the Day” Contact Process

HCWs have asked for a clear process on what to do when bringing an issue to the case manager, especially when that person is unavailable. HCWs are required to report issues to the local office, such as health and safety concerns, working more hours than authorized due to an emergency, or missing authorization in Provider Time Capture (PTC).

To ensure HCWs are able to report urgent issues related to service authorizations, service hours and payment, or other concerns, the state has now issued guidance to Department of Human Services (DHS) local offices that they must establish clear processes to ensure HCWs are able to speak with someone at the office about their issue.

Local office staff must be responsive to issues reported by HCWs, even when the consumer’s case manager is unavailable. HCWs can go directly to a Worker of the Day, or in cases where that person is unavailable can speak with a supervisor, manager, or other designated staff person who can resolve urgent issues.

For more information contact your local DHS office or the SEIU Local 503 Member Assistance Center at 1-844-503-SEIU (7348).

Get More Involved in Your Union: Become a Union Steward

We just won a great tentative agreement with state management for homecare workers! Now, we need to continue building union power and ensure our contracts are being implemented correctly by state management.

You can help make it happen by becoming a union steward. Stewards have a great responsibility: to organize coworkers to solve problems, to educate others around the contract, and to investigate potential contract violations. You’ll help your co-workers deal with issues they are facing and work to enforce the contract through the grievance procedure.

Being a steward is exciting – and it keeps our union strong. Fill out an interest form at the link provided below and an experienced steward will reach out to discuss the role with you and walk you through the next steps.

As a steward, you will never be alone as you learn the ropes on how to build union power. The Union will provide training and support to help you every step of the way. For more information and to fill out an interest form click here.