Sergio Osorio is a personal support worker in Fairview, Oregon. But first and foremost, he is a family man. And if you ask him, he’ll tell you that his family includes his wife Lupe, his three adult children…and his union.
It was Sergio’s desire to provide the best care for his family that led him to our union in the first place. Three years ago, Sergio became a personal support provider for his 23 year old son, Rony, who has special needs. Both Sergio and Lupe have other jobs as well as being personal support workers. One works days, the other works nights. They alternate shifts so they can provide around-the-clock care for their son. As for Rony, he’s happy that he can remain in his own home where he feels most comfortable, and be cared for by his parents and not strangers.
“Our union has helped improve the quality of his care,” said Sergio. “It can be difficult and confusing trying to navigate the State’s system to access the resources we need. SEIU provides us with prompt support, benefits, and protections should we ever need them.”
When he was first asked about joining the union, Sergio was skeptical. It’s difficult these days to know who you can trust. But once he received a phone call from a union representative, he began reading more about SEIU 503 and decided to give it a try. After all, as a family man, he believes that standing together in unity is better than one person standing alone.
This year, Sergio participated in the I Am Essential campaign, allowing a camera crew into his home to film a day in his family’s life. The resulting ads helped communicate the importance of in-home support services for people with disabilities. His story helped convince state legislators to make a historic investment in the homecare and personal support worker programs, which led directly to our recent contract.
“SEIU is my family and I feel proud to be part of it. When we have more people joining SEIU 503 it makes our voice stronger and more effective when we need to be heard.”
Sergio lives in Fairview and enjoys photography, soccer, volleyball, fishing and biking.