April 21, 2022

By fighting collectively, 1199ers get more money in their pockets.

Screen Shot 2022-04-21 at 5.58.40 PM.pngIn a historic decision covering more than 100,000 current and former 1199SEIU home care members, a New York City arbitrator has ordered 42 agencies to fund a $32 million Special Wage Fund to compensate members for wages owed for sleep and meal interruptions on 24-hour cases and other wage violations.

This decision marks the culmination of a legal battle which began in 2019 when 1199 filed a class action grievance against 42 agencies.

The grievance was made possible because 1199 home care workers negotiated language in their collective bargaining agreements (CBA) allowing them to pursue wage and hour violations through arbitration.

This meant that workers could be represented by the union in these cases and did not have to pay for lawyers of their own.

Before 2016, most employers did not have procedures in place to pay for sleep and meal interruptions on 24-hour shifts. In 2015, the Union negotiated language in the CBA to ensure such procedures were in place.

Since then, the Union has worked hard to ensure that workers know the procedures for reporting sleep and meal interruptions. The grievance was filed to seek compensation for those times when workers were not compensated properly on 24-hour shifts, as well as when workers did not receive travel time between cases and other wage violations. The Special Wage Fund will now enable members to receive compensation. Claim forms will be mailed to current and former bargaining unit members by Arden Claims Service at the end of April 2022.

“Home care workers are health care workers who provide the critical care our clients need. Our work is important and should be taken seriously,” says Francisco A. Javier Castillo, an 1199 home care worker, “I look forward to filing my claim and receiving my payment.”

More than 5,000 home care workers at Concepts of Independence, who voted to join 1199 last year, were also celebrating their first contract which includes immediate bonuses of up to $500, with a re-opener in May 2022 to discuss wage increases following the publication of the state budget. Members at Concepts will also benefit from the 1199SEIU Home Care Industry Education Fund, which enables workers to develop skills, improve their English-language proficiency, prepare for the U.S. naturalization test, earn a high school equivalency diploma, prepare for college entrance exams and attend college.

From Manhattan to Plattsburgh, in Upstate NY, workers at Concepts provide personal care and other services to people living with disabilities and others that can direct their own care through New York’s Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP).

The program allows workers to provide self-directed care for consumers, including relatives and friends, which means they can remain in the comfort and safety of their homes and maintain their independence and self determination.

Arleen Angus, a Concepts member who travelled to Albany in February with fellow 1199ers campaigning for a statewide increase in home care workers pay, said: “This job really isn’t easy and we deserve to be making more money.

But I know we can accomplish a lot more if we work together, than what any of us could do individually.”

Special Wage Fund Home Care Agencies

ABC Health Service Registry
AccentCare of NY, Inc.
Alliance for Health
Alliance Home Services
Azor Home Care
Bronx Jewish Community Council Home Attendant Services
Bushwick Stuyvesant Heights Home Attendant
CABS Home Care
Care at Home
Chinese-American Planning Council Home Attendant Program, Inc.
Cooperative Home Care
Family Home Care Services of Brooklyn and Queens
FEGS Home Care
First Chinese Presbyterian CAHA
Home Care Services For Independent Living
Home Health Management
New York Foundation for Senior Citizens Home Attendant
Partners in Care
Personal Touch Home Care of N.Y.
Personal Touch Home Care of Long Island
Personal Touch Home Care of Westchester
People Care, Inc.
Premier Home Health Care
Prestige Home Attendant d/b/a All Season
Prestige Home Care
Priority Home Care
PSC Community Services, Inc.
RAIN Home Attendant Services, Inc.
Region Care
Richmond Home Needs
RiseBoro Homecare, Inc.
Riverspring Licensed Home Care Agency
Rockaway Home Attendant
Saint Nicholas Human Support Corp.
School Settlement Home Attendant Corp.
Special Touch Home Care Services, Inc.
Stella Orton Home Care
Sunnyside Home Care Project
Sunnyside Citywide Home Care
United Jewish Council of the East Side Home Attendant Services
Wartburg – No Place Like Home Care

Members whose employer is listed here can call the hotline number at 1-833-706-1199 with questions about the arbitration

1199 Magazine | March / April 2022