Before Tammy Tate and other Oregon home care workers formed their union with SEIU Local 503, she worked nearly every day, around the clock and for multiple clients.
“I had no paid time off, no overtime pay, and it was really draining,” said Tammy. “After we came together in our union, we won those basic benefits and now have a path to $15 an hour and retirement savings.”
With 10,000 adults turning 65 every day, the demand for skilled home care workers is on the rise. “The work I do helps people who otherwise would not have an opportunity to get out into the community,” she said. “And one thing I know is that everyone is going to need home care—and you’re going to want quality and well-trained workers.”
This care crisis affects home care workers at a time where many are worried about their own financial security and well-being. They, too, will need affordable healthcare as they get older. That’s why winning affordable health coverage and a path to retirement security through her union is so meaningful to Tammy.
“I’m able to take care of myself,” she said. “I can look forward to retiring, seeing the world, enjoying time with my friends and still be active in the community.”
Tammy wants all workers to have a fair shot at building a better life. “Having an opportunity to join in my union has changed my life, has changed my work, has changed my community,” she said. “That’s why I support unions for all.”