In a huge triumph for Oregon homecare workers who have over the last several years gotten late or incomplete paychecks, SEIU (Service Employees International Union) 503’s Homecare and Personal Support Bargaining Team has secured a settlement worth $1.3 million with the State of Oregon that will be distributed to affected workers beginning in late May.
The settlement, reached between SEIU 503 and Oregon’s Department of Human Services (DHS), is the result of months of discussions with the state and demands that workers be paid in full, on time, every time. SEIU 503-represented members filed a grievance against DHS in November and participated in multiple actions to bring attention to the matter: writing to their state lawmakers and DHS leadership, rallying outside DHS offices, and installing banners and signs on highway overpasses in Salem, Portland, Eugene, Bend, Roseburg, and Pendleton.
The state admitted in 2019 that it had issued nearly 10,000 late payments to workers the prior year, which did not improve when it began using a new time capture system. The system was supposed to make it easier for providers to enter their time; instead, the problems continued and, in some cases, worsened, as workers continued to get partial or late paychecks until now.
“This was a real win for thousands of workers damaged by DHS’ failed provider time capture system and an affirmation of the importance of having collective Union power,” said Rebecca Sandoval, President of Homecare Local 99. “This is indeed a big victory; our workers will finally be made whole.”
The settlement includes:
- For each incident of partial or late pay, $150 for any provider affected between August 1, 2021, through March 12, 2022.
- As of the pay period beginning March 13, 2022, the state agrees that current contract language for late pay will include instances of partial pay if the state is at fault.
- A requirement that the Oregon Home Care Commission (OHCC) investigate late pay complaints within 30 days.
Affected workers should begin receiving payouts by May 27, 2022.
Source: SEIU 503