Last week, community leaders delivered letters to the CEO of Family Services Foundation(FSF) and Innovative Life Solutions(ILS) declaring their support for employees to form a union to improve their pay and the services they provide.
Workers at ILS and FSF were joined by Casa de Maryland, Jobs with Justice, Grace Episcopal Church, Florida Avenue Baptist Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and the D.C. Employment Justice Center.
In their letters of support, they urged Mr. Carrington and Mr. Claxton to follow the law by respecting our free choice to form a union and by paying the living wage workers should already be earning according to D.C. law.
The workers at ILS and FSF are facing a tough fight ahead to win union recognition. Both agencies have hired high paid consultants to discourage workers from freely forming a union.
Can you take 2 minutes to send a fax to David Carrington, the Executive Director of ILS, and Robert Claxton, the CEO of FSF, asking them to respect our rights to form a union?
Organizations and Individuals who have signed letters to Letters to Letters to ILS CEO David Carrington andLetters to FSF Executive Director Robert Claxton, asking them to respect their workers’ rights to form a union include:
“Uniting workers is good for FSF employees because our wage victory is long overdue; and we can improve the living conditions of the clients we serve.” Andrew Jallah, FSF Employee
Earlier this month, me and my co-workers at Family Services Foundation, Inc(FSF) a group home agency in MD, filed for an election to join SEIU Local 500. But we are not alone in our fight for a voice at the work place. Workers at Innovative Life Solutions(ILS), a Group Home agency in DC also filed this month for an election.
“I support the union to win the respect of my employer, the pay I’m entitled to and respect for the job I do here” Russell Cosby, ILS employee
Here at FSF and at ILS, we are facing a tough fight to win union recognition. The bosses have hired high paid consultants to try to discourage and scare us. We are already being forced to attend mandatory meetings with management where they bend the truth.
Earlier today, religious, labor and community leaders joined us to send a message to our employers that they must respect our freedom to form a union. We also delivered dozens of letters from the community calling on ILS and FSF to respect our rights to form a union. But we need to keep the pressure on them to show that the community is watching and wants them to do the right thing.
Thanks for showing your support to our colleagues at ILS and FSF. We look forward to winning our elections and joining the members of SEIU local 500.
Thanks to our hard work, DC government just passed regulations saying it will finally implement the Living Wage law we passed in 2004.
This means group home workers in DC should now make $12.50 an hour according to DC law.
“The victory on the living wage is a good thing for us. People like us deserve a better treatment. What we do is more than a job. Taking care of other people is hard.”
Nathaniel Wallace, NCC
Low wages and limited benefits in this field has led to high turnover of workers, and negatively impacted the quality of services for people with disabilities. This is a huge victory for DC group home workers and we are especially proud of our role in making this happen.
“The living wage victory is a long overdue victory. I’ve been in this industry for more than 11 years and there is no money or good pay. This is really good.” Violate B. Lee, IDI
But our work is not done.
Now we have to hold DC government and DC employers accountable to make sure the Living Wage law becomes a reality in our paychecks.
Are you a group home worker or someone who provided service and supports to people with disabilities?
Are you receiving the $12.50/hr living wage you deserve? Tell us about it and share your story.
As we talked about in the post about the IDI victory last week, David Wilmot has been under considerable public scrutiny for his excessive salary while he pays his staff poverty wages. The Washington City Paper digs deeper into the issue in this week’s edition.
IDI may not have enough money to boost the weekly take-home salaries of its grunts, but it does have enough to give “excessive” pay to Wilmot and IDI’s chief executive officer, Ronald Raghunandan, according to a report from the city’s Office of Inspector General.
This summer, an IG report found that Wilmot’s $261,000 2008 salary was about $80,000 over industry standards. Wilmot’s more current salary data isn’t known, but tax records unearthed by a previous LL show that Wilmot’s annual IDI pay has gone as high $346,743, which he earned in 2003.
In addition to the excessive salary Wilmot collects from IDI, IDI loaned $55K to a member of its Board of Directors in 2002, with no signs of payment back as of 2008. If that wasn’t bad enough, IDI loaned Wilmot himself an additional 300k in 2001!
But wait, there’s more…..As a high powered corporate lobbyist for clients like Big PhRMA, he has been paid $203k in the first half of this year according to lobbyist disclosure records.
It is unconscionable how someone so flush with cash can cry poverty when his employees at IDI must use Medicaid for health coverage.
Odoms also complained to LL about IDI’s low pay for lower-level workers. She says that whenever workers approached management about raises, “they said they didn’t have any money.”
Armed with the truth about David Wilmot’s finances, the employees of IDI will begin negotiating a contract to improve their wages, benefits and training. Let’s hope David Wilmot begins treating the people on the other side of the table with the respect and dignity they deserve.