California was the first state to unionize personal care attendants after a 15 year struggle that included a court ruling in 1987 that these PCAs were not employees of the state or county. This is where the idea of turning these independent contractors into faux employees of the state was developed. In 1992, they helped pass a bill that made each county the "employer of record" for the PCAs. Unlike most states, California unionized county by county with three separate unions, SEIU, AFSCME, and the CUHW which is a joint collaboration of SEIU and AFSCME.
In 1999, SEIU won the right to represent 74,000 home health aides in Los Angeles County, making it the largest increase in union membership since 1940s.
This research paper give a great amount of detail into the early organizing of the home care workforce.
As has happened in many other states, SEIU and AFSCME engaged in a turf war fighting over who would represent these In-Home Supportive Services home care workers. In June of 2000 they came to an agreement of who would represent which counties. This map details which union represents each county and the number of home health aides represented.
In 2009, SEIU was accused of intimidation and election fraud by NUHW, a rival union competing to represent the home care aides in Fresno County (see video on right hand side of screen). SEIU narrowly won that election but NUHW filed a complaint with the labor board.
In January 2013, Tyrone Freeman, president of SEIU Local 6434 United Long-Term Care Workers Union as well as CUHW, was convicted on federal charges of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the home care workers he represented:
Dues are typically around 2-3% of the paycheck, although there are also minimum dues or fees which are roughly equivalent to 1-3 hours of gross pay. For backup IHSS workers who work a limited number of hours each month, this can mean a substantial portion of wages is taken out in union dues or fair share fees.
The amount of union dues and fair share fees collected from IHSS workers is staggering. According to the Los Angeles Times, SEIU alone collects nearly $5 million per month—$60 million annually—in dues and fees.
In 2013, the NUHW joined forces with the California Nurses Association to form one of the largest unions in the country. According to a representative from NUHW, they hope to gain even more power.
"Some of us in both organizations, for decades, we have had this goal to form a national health care union," said Sal Rosselli, president of NUHW. "This affiliation, we believe, will make it come to be."
Union: SEIU, AFSCME and CUHW (SEIU & AFSCME Collaboration)
SEIU-UHW Dues: 2% with a minimum of $28.00 and maximum of $36.33 per month unless under 15 hours http://www.yolopa.org/wages.html
AFSCME-UDW Dues: $10.30–$40.70 per month
Fair share: Yes
Health Insurance: Yes, Limited
Contracts: Yes, by county rather than statewide.
Intimidation and Election Fraud Complaints