Now 40,000 workers in California who generally earned low wages and had no work benefits, will have the right to unionize

With more than a decade in the struggle to improve the early childhood education system, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the AB 378 measure on Monday afternoon, better known as the Construction of a Better Care and Education System Act Early

The law, written by Assemblyman Monique Limón, will allow some 40,000 California child care providers the right to create a union and collectively negotiate with the state situations that affect their profession.

These demands could include a better payment for their services, education for caregivers, health benefits, among others.

AB 378 is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2020.

Assemblywoman Limón said in a statement that, in order to improve child care, California must listen to the thousands of providers who care for children in the home, who know working families better.

On May 1 of this year, Silvia Jordán traveled to Sacramento to support measure AB 378. (Provided)

“There are no more knowledgeable or passionate voices about the critical needs of California child care than this group, mostly, of women who work every day to raise our children and feed our economy by allowing parents to report to work ”Said Assemblyman Limón.

Expected celebration

Silvia Jordán, 58, is the owner of the Jordan nursery Familia Daycare in Eagle Rock, and is a fervent supporter of AB 378. For her this is very good news since for 15 years she has taken care of children ranging from 4 months to 12 years old.

“That is my passion. I love working with children. Children are like a little flower that grows and the more you take care of it, the more beautiful it is, ”said the caretaker. “They love me so much that they tell me‘ granny ’or‘ nana ’.

Unfortunately, the joy of caring for children also plays an important role in Jordan's personal life. Her salary is shortened and her age increases, so she needs to have benefits and a better salary.

Jordan, who has protested and fought for AB 378, confirmed that his salary — after all the expenses to support the center — amounts to $ 7 to $ 10 an hour.

"This shows that what we do is for absolute passion," said Jordan, who currently takes care of 10 children.

He added that he regularly has to be buying educational and entertainment materials to keep small assets.

She said that it was the same need of parents who were looking for someone to provide quality care, loving, careful and where they focused on the emotions of the children, which motivated Jordan to open his nursery. It currently serves the areas of Eagle Rock, Pasadena, Glendale and Highland park.

The well-being of children with quality care is another reason why she supports AB 378.

"We want the community, for society to realize that we need moral, economic and educational support," said Jordan.

It was an afternoon of celebration and happiness after the governor of California signed measure AB 378. (Supplied)

Max Arias, executive director of the SEIU-Local 99 union, explained that the state subsidizes low-income people for the childcare of their children. However, this is very little for caregivers who usually care for children in their homes, or garages.

Because the caregivers do not have representatives in their profession, they had not had the opportunity to bargain collectively with the state nor could they form their union leaving them in vulnerable and precarious conditions.

“They have to pay attendees and after the costs of supplies, books, food they get very low salary. Like $ 5, $ 6 if you calculate it per hour because they work many hours, ”said Arias.

With the approval of AB 378, California joins 11 states in the nation where child care providers can negotiate with the state for improvements to the early childhood education system. These include; Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington.

Among the topics of interest that can be negotiated are subsidies for low-income families who cannot afford the rising cost of child care. It is estimated that this care currently ranges in California between $ 14,000 per year per child.


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