News

Members Rallied at 2014 Call to Action

On Saturday, Sept. 13, almost 90 members of the SEIU Virginia 512 family came from across the state to make our 4th annual Call to Action a major success!

We continued to build our union and build our political power to make Virginia a better place for working families.

Together, we passed the statewide constitution and bylaws, speaking powerfully about how home care providers, county employees and deputy sheriffs are stronger together when united in one union: SEIU Virginia 512!

We also rallied with our endorsed candidate, knocked almost 500 doors and made more than 1,000 phone calls!

Many members worked together to make this event a success. Congratulations to all those involved in planning, including members of the Constitution & Bylaws Committee and the Political Committee.

You can check out exciting photos from the event here!

Coming out of the Call to Action, members committed to SEIU Virginia 512’s next statewide Day of Action, Oct. 5 at 1 p.m. Save the date and stay tuned for more information.

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Join us for SEIU Virginia 512’s Call to Action—New Location!

Join us Saturday, Sept. 13 in Manassas for our fourth annual Call to Action! You can RSVP here today.

The Call to Action is your opportunity to hear from candidates about the issues that are most important to Virginia’s working families.

This year, the Call to Action will also be your opportunity to vote on the updated SEIU Virginia 512 constitution and bylaws, which a member committee has been reviewing and have approved to move forward. You can download a copy of the draft here.

PLEASE NOTE: The location of this meeting has changed. We will meet at the Wyndham Garden Hotel, 10800 Vandor Lane, Manassas, Virginia, 20109

Call to Action Schedule:
9 a.m. We will start with a light breakfast and registration
10 a.m. We will have a presentation from the Constitution and Bylaws Committee
11:30 a.m. We will hear from our endorsed candidates and have lunch

We will then put our boots to the ground and knock doors so we can elect these champions for working people and rally back at the hotel at 4 p.m.

Please wear purple, as well as comfortable shoes. Lunch and a light breakfast will be provided.

Make sure you have a spot. RSVP today!

If you have questions, call 571.432.0209 or email info@seiuva.org.

 

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Virginia 512 Endorses Rip Sullivan for Delegate

SEIU Virginia 512 political committee members have voted unanimously to endorse Rip Sullivan for the House of Delegates in the 48th District. Rip is a champion for working families and supports Medicaid Expansion, funding county services and raising the minimum wage.
Rip is running in a special election on Aug. 19, so it’s time to get to work! SEIU Virginia 512 members will join together to knock doors at 11 a.m. Aug. 16, and there are many other opportunities to knock or call. Email info@seiuva.org to schedule your canvass or phonebank shift today! No matter where you live, you can help elect this pro-working families candidate.
The special election is less than two weeks away, and it will be an incredibly low turnout election, potentially decided by less than 10 votes. It’s up to us to make the difference, and show our political power.
To win, we need people to:
(1) Phonebank! I.e. Call voters in the district and talk to them about voting for Rip. (which you can do from anywhere around the state via the internet and your own phone)
(2) Knock on Doors on in Rip’s district this weekend (August 9-10) or next weekend (August 16-17)
(3) Call your friends and family if they live in the district and urge them to VOTE for Rip on Tuesday, August 19! (See a map of the district.)
Canvassing, phone-banking and turning out our friends and family WILL make the difference in this race! To sign up to canvass or phonebank, email info@seiuva.org.
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Home Care: Appealing the amount of hours you receive from the Department of Medical Assistance (DMAS)

The Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) oversees the Elderly or Disabled with Consumer Direction (EDCD) Waiver Program.  Therefore, DMAS decides how many hours of attendant care each consumer receives. (They also oversee respite, supervisory, and all other types of care hours).

DMAS rules provide that you have the right to appeal the amount of hours that you are granted.  We as SEIU Virginia 512, have received several inquiries as to how to go about successfully appealing hours. We recommend the following:

1.     Contact your union immediately once you are believe that you were given too few hours.

DMAS only provides a limited amount of time (about 10 days from when you receive the notice from DMAS) for you to request an appeal by writing to their Richmond office. If you put in a request after this deadline, you may be denied a hearing. Accordingly, it is important that you communicate with your union to ensure that you are including the necessary information in the request for appeal.

Once you receive a hearing date, you will need to decide whether you will be represented in the hearing. Being that the hearing is a legal proceeding, we recommend that you seek representation through the union. They will present your side (including referring to the applicable evidence and law) throughout the hearing. DMAS hearings are held over the phone and typically run about 1 hour—but can be as long as 2.5 hours or as quick as 30 minutes.

2.     Keep regular contact with your service facilitator.

Your service facilitator will be a key part of your appeal of hours. As the individuals that submitted the paperwork requesting the hours on your behalf, they have firsthand knowledge of the information at issue. Therefore, you will need their assistance in compiling the necessary paperwork in preparing for the appeal. Moreover, if they are available, you may need them to testify as part of the phone hearing. Be sure to work with the union to determine the appropriate level of involvement by your service facilitator on the actual day of the hearing.

3.     If you are not successful in the appeal, work with your union and service facilitator to see how you may be able to obtain more hours in the future.

DMAS regulations are difficult to overcome and, therefore, there is always the chance that you might not be successful in your appeal. In the event that you are not successful, your union and service facilitator can work with you to see how the request might be better resubmitted in the future. If we are able to successfully show that a consumer needs more care, there is likely a way that we can garner the hours in the future.

For more information on the appeal process, contact the SEIU Virginia 512 office at (571) 432-0209. You can also refer to the DMAS appeals pamphlet: http://www.dmas.virginia.gov/Content_atchs/appls/app-pmphlt_eng.pdf.

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Loudoun County Employees with Disabilities: What Are Your Rights?

Many times in life, situations arise that impact our overall well being, whether physical, mental, or both.   The law provides that you cannot be treated differently simply because you have a disability. As a union, we have seen an increase in questions regarding how Loudoun County should handle disabilities. The key to receiving fair treatment with regard to a disability is to know your rights and keep in contact with your union to make sure that they are protected.  Below are some frequently asked questions regarding the federal and county policy regarding the law that protects disabilities, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990

1.     What is a disability under the ADA?

Not all conditions or health situations are considered disabilities under the ADA. The law defines disabilities as conditions that substantially limit one or more major life activities. Major life activities include functions such as caring for oneself, breathing, learning, and working.

Therefore, a condition might be a disability if it limits your ability to perform a major life activity. The law compares your abilities to those of an average person in the general population.  An example of disability might be diabetes, if it decreases your ability to learn or work. In the alternative, if you have diabetes but only have a few temporary side effects that do not impact your ability to learn or work, you likely would not be deemed to have a disability.

2. What should I do if I find out that I have a disability?

The first course of action once you are diagnosed with a disabling condition is to seek medical treatment. Next, contact your union and seek assistance to discuss whether a reasonable accommodation might be appropriate for your disability.

3. What is a reasonable accommodation and how do I ask for one?

A reasonable accommodation is a tool that assists a disabled employee with doing the essential functions of their job. Under the law, the reasonable accommodation is only required to be granted if the employee can do their job with or without the reasonable accommodation. Examples include a larger size computer monitor, breaks from work, or recording devices.

To apply for a reasonable accommodation in Loudoun County, a Human Resources form must be filled out which identifies what your disability is and what reasonable accommodation is being requested. To ensure that this form is filled out in a way that best protects your rights, contact the union office. After we assist you with submitting the form, we can work with you and management to ensure that they engage in their obligation to have a discussion regarding the reasonable accommodation. As a union, we want to ensure that your rights are protected.

 

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Home Care: What Rights Do You Deserve?

SEIU Virginia 512 members believe Home Care providers and consumers have a right to a better Home Care system.

That’s why consumers, providers and community members are coming together to draft the first-ever Home Care Bill of Rights, a list of what providers and consumers deserve.

Over the years, we have united to win great improvements to Virginia’s Home Care system, but there’s so much more we need to have the Quality Home Care system that we all truly deserve.

We all have the right to quality Home Care and quality jobs. Now is the time to stand up and claim it.

Will you help us?

Fill out the Home Care Bill of Rights survey today! (http://5va.seiu.org/page/s/hcbor)

Questions? Want more information? Call the office at 571.432.0209 or email info@seiuva.org.

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Home Care: Your Service Facilitator and Your Waiver

Service Facilitators play a key role in the administration of your Elderly or Consumer Direction Waiver Services Waiver (EDCD). Service Facilitators not only serve as advocates for consumers and Personal Care Assistants (PCAs) but also must provide clear information to the Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) that affects the care of a consumer and a PCA’s pay. Below are a series of frequently asked questions on the role of a Service Facilitator that SEIU Virginia 512 often receives in assisting members.

  1.  What is the responsibility of a service facilitator?
    Service Facilitators have a key role in overseeing the waiver process. In particular, they are responsible for overseeing the consumer’s care and transmitting any necessary paperwork regarding the EDCD waiver to DMAS.  Accordingly, DMAS relies on Service Facilitators to maintain consistent contact with the consumer and their family, as well as the PCA.

    Examples of paperwork and communications that a Service Facilitator is responsible for transmitting to and from DMAS include: initiating care with a particular PCA, requests for an increase in attendant care/respite/supervision hours, and annual authorizations. A good Facilitator will make sure that all paperwork is quickly communicated to DMAS and that a family and their PCA are aware of any possible changes in the waiver.

  2. Can I change my Service Facilitator?
    A consumer can choose to change their Service Facilitator at any time. The Elderly or Disabled with Consumer Direction Waiver Manual which governs the administration of EDCD waivers, requires that the former Service Facilitator discharge the consumer and send all paperwork to the new Service Facilitator of choice. It is typically best to leave some time in between when care ends with your previous Service Facilitator to when it begins with your new Service Facilitator. Therefore, the PCA will not lose out on pay and the consumer will receive consistent care.
  3.  How do I find a different Service Facilitator or deal with an issue with DMAS?
    SEIU Virginia 512 provides all members with access to recommended Service Facilitators. Furthermore, our union provides legal representation for any members who have an issue with their current Service Facilitator or DMAS. As a union, we will represent your interests, working with the Service Facilitator to receive the best outcome possible. Please call the union office at 571-432-0209 to get assistance with any concerns that you may have.
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Fairfax: We won a raise, but now we need to win a fair pay plan!

The Board of Supervisors passed the FY2015 budget today, which included a 2.29% raise for general county employees. And union members’ hard work and advocacy made that happen!

But Public Safety employees will see a significantly higher pay increase. This is because they have real pay plans to guide their compensation. General county employees have worked without a real pay plan for years. And now is the time to change that!

A real pay plan means you know when your next raise is coming, that you can plan your financial future. Don’t you deserve to have this kind of stability?

Between now and September, union members will sit with county leadership to create a pay plan for general county employees. And we need you to be involved!

Here’s what you can do:

1) Join us at Budget Watch: On May 12, union members will host the next Budget Watch Dinner at the union office from 5:30-7:30 p.m. to talk about how we win a real pay plan. RSVP to kevin.jones@seiuva.org.

2) Let your co-workers know about the power of advocating together and encourage them to join you in your union. Unions do make a difference. Take a few minutes to talk to your friends about the great work we are achieving together and encourage them to stand with you as you work to build a strong pay plan for all general county employees. If they share our values, ask them to complete our membership card application to join.

You can download a copy of our membership application here. 

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Union members win better raise at budget markup!

BoardBH2014-webThe Board of Supervisors voted on a markup budget on April 22.

And union members’ hard work and advocacy made a difference!

The BoS increased the proposed raise for general county workers from 1.29 % to 2.29% ! That is a direct result of union members’ phone calls, emails and presence at the budget hearing!

We also stopped cuts to our jobs and to vital public services. We kept two senior centers open, we saved dozens of library and park jobs and much more, but most of all, we ended Ed Long’s attempts to limit employee compensation increases to 2% or less per year. This paves the way for union members to have real talks on an official compensation plan for S-scale general county workers!

But there is more work to be done. The markup budget falls short of being a great budget. The raise doesn’t do enough to catch us up after years without raises. The budget doesn’t fill the 1,000+ open positions. And the budget doesn’t address the needs in Family Services, Community Services Board and across the county.

The Board of Supervisors will adopt the final budget on April 29.

Here is how you can get involved and help hold the Board accountable for the rest of this budget cycle and through our pay plan talks with them:

1) Join Budget Watch: On May 12, union members will host the next Budget Watch Dinner at the union office from 5:30-7:30 p.m. to discuss what comes next in the fight for quality jobs and quality public services. RSVP to kevin.jones@seiuva.org.

2) Let your co-workers know about the power of advocating together and encourage them to join you in your union. Unions do make a difference. Take a few minutes to talk to your friends about the great work we are achieving together and encourage them to stand with you as you work to build a strong pay plan for all general county employees. If they share our values, ask them to complete our membership card application to join.

You can download a copy of our membership application here. 

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Home Care: PPL and Your Pay

The Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) is the state agency responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Medicaid Elderly or Disabled Consumer Directed (EDCD) Waiver program. As you might be aware, DMAS contracts out to another company to deliver pay to all Personal Care Assistants (PCAs). This company is known as Public Partnerships Limited or (PPL). PPL is a large corporation that spans the entire country, with a local office in Ruthers Glen, Virginia.

As a union, we have heard from several members of SEIU Virginia 512 who have had issues with PPL. These issues include PPL not paying them on time, misplacing their time sheets, and not communicating with them when there are errors with their time sheets.

The Member Services team of SEIU Virginia 512 has been able to get several of these pay issues solved in a quick manner by communicating with PPL managers, and when appropriate, filing appeals with DMAS.

Here are some tips to ensure that you receive your pay in the best way possible

  1. Register to enter your time sheets online.  Our members have found that entering time sheets online results in fewer errors with pay. To register to enter your sheets online, go to: https://www.publicpartnerships.com//programs/virginia/fiscal/adminlogin.asp
  2. If you must fax your time sheets, fax them early, save your confirmation sheet, and check in with the PPL service line to make sure they have received them.  PPL Virginia receives thousands of faxed time sheets to one small office. Therefore, your time sheet can easily get lost. Try not to wait to the last minute to fax your time sheet and always call to confirm it was received. Keep copies of the original sheet that you send in.
  3. Double check your sheets for accuracy: When faxing sheets manually, it can be easy to overlap hours or consumers. (The online system will not allow you to do so). Such a simple error can result in PPL refusing to pay you.  Be sure to check that the hours do not overlap and are consistent with your consumer’s Plan of Care.
  4. Communicate regularly with your service facilitator: PPL can only deliver pay to you. Therefore, if there is an issue with your consumer’s waiver authorization, medical information, only DMAS will be able to assist you. Your service facilitator serves as a link between you and DMAS. Therefore, checking in with them regularly to make sure that they do not need any additional information and that your consumer’s waiver is up to date is helpful.
  5. Contact your union: As soon as you discover that there is an issue with your pay or waiver, contact the union at 571-432-0209. In addition to having legal resources available, we have a trained advocate, Laura Clark who is available to assist you.  The sooner you call, the sooner we can begin working on getting a solution for you so that you can receive your pay right away.
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