If you found this post, you are most likely in the process of applying to be an IHSS provider or you may be contemplating joining the union. Or you may be in the union and looking to get out of it. So, the big question is…
Should I join the union as an IHSS care provider?
If you are pro-union, you are more than welcomed to keep reading or close your browser.
If you have questions or want to know what it’s like to be in the union, keep reading!
This is my personal experience of how I escaped the union. I hope my story helps you!
First and foremost, what is an IHSS provider?
In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) is a program that helps with in-home care for people who are elderly, blind, or have disabilities. In order to be an IHSS provider, you must work directly for the person receiving care at their home doing tasks they need help with because of their disability or age. When you are first approved as an IHSS provider, you will receive a packet of information from the state with your Provider ID card and other important information.
Should I join the union?
One of the many benefits of joining the union, is the option to receive health care and prescription coverage through your monthly dues, as well as discounts for travel, car rentals, and other services. You can join or not join the union when you start your job as an IHSS provider, but most people join because it offers a lot of great benefits.
If you are an IHSS provider, should you join the union? That depends.
The IHSS union is not like other unions. They don’t protect you or have your back when you need them.
I know that there are many out there who are happy with being in the union and enjoy all of its benefits. The problem is that if you are unhappy with the way things are going or would prefer not to be a member anymore, there is a way out.
Why you shouldn’t join the union
I am not anti-union or against unions. I have been a union member before and they were very helpful with my employer and rules and regulations were fair, as well as guaranteeing my rights as an employee.
The union doesn’t teach you how to be a good IHSS provider. It doesn’t show you what to be aware of and it certainly does not protect your rights and interests as an IHSS provider.
They only provide the “many services” that they offer you as a benefit of being associated with them. While this seems like a good thing, it really isn’t.
The union doesn’t protect your rights as an IHSS provider!
The Union doesn’t have the power to step in if your client is being unreasonable or having an issue signing their timesheet, but they are very helpful when it comes to steering clear of problems.
Yes, I joined
As a former union member, I want to share my personal experience. When I first signed up as a care provider, I asked a family member if I should join. She suggested I do, so I did.
As I joined a several groups on Facebook, I quickly learned the truth about the union. At first, I was in denial and did not want to believe all the people who were against the union but still kept their words in my mind. Over the years, I finally saw what they were saying. The union does nothing for us.
By the second year in the union, I decided it was time to leave. At the time, I was looking at my expenses and going over things I had no use for.
I could no longer justify the union dues. I wasn’t using their discounts offered, nor have they ever personally reached out to ask if I needed help. Come to think of it, the only time they did reach out was for automated emails, voicemails, and texts.
How I left the union
I often get asked how I was able to escape the union. First, I remembered the month I was approved with IHSS and about the time I attended the orientation (when the union has you join). From there, I wrote a resignation letter to the union and asked to be removed. I mailed it in. Many suggest mailing your letter via certified mail to get confirmation that the Union received it. I personally did not do this, mainly because I’m poor and cheap! This is up to you!
Your Recipe To Leave
Step 1: Determine when you were approved as a care provider and/or when you attended orientation.
Step 2: Utilize the Opt Out Today to compose a resignation letter to your union.
Step 3: Mail your letter about a month and a half to a month before you think you signed up with the union.
Step 4: Call about 2 weeks later to verify they received your letter. I was surprised how nice they were. They were very kind enough to check to see if my letter was received. They did say my anniversary month was the following month but would put my letter aside so I would be removed when the time came.
Step 5: Call again if you think it’s necessary. Keep checking your check stubs for union dues.
Again, this is my personal experience with the Union. I really only used them once during the two years I was a member. Other than that, I had no use for any of the discounts they offered with the different companies.
If the union benefits you and you are happy with them, I am happy for you! For those who want to get out of the union, it is possible!
If you still have questions or need guidance, feel free to reach out!