Letters to the Editor

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I-1163: Measure only helps union, not families

Letter by Christina McElroy, Puyallup on Oct. 31, 2011 at 2:43 pm | 6 Comments »
October 31, 2011 2:43 pm

Re: “Parents should be exempt” (letter, 10-28).

I thank the writer for stating the problem with SEIU and Initiative 1163. I also have a young adult child who experiences autism, and I also had to spend a perfectly fine Saturday attending “training,” at which I learned very little.

Additionally, we have family and close friends who are willing to provide care and for which they, quite reasonably, wish to be compensated, but the current training requirements discourage their enrollment. The difficulty will be compounded if I-1163 passes.

I-1163 does not address the shortage of compassionate care providers. These care providers are already subject to background checks and continuing education requirements. Very few continuing education classes offer information relevant to the needs of physically healthy young adults, but rather focus on the elderly and very frail clients.

Furthermore, there are no exemptions, even for grandparents, siblings or for the part-time care providers whose regular job includes continuing education requirements and accountability, such as nurses, teachers, paraeducators or nursing assistants.

The training must be taken through Training Partnerships, an arm of SEIU; we are not allowed to “count” hours spent in a seminar that might be actually useful but outside of Training Partnerships. Examples would be attending an update on community access for those with autism or estate planning for special needs.

Families dealing with special needs deserve support and understanding. I-1163 offers neither, but rather adds to our already full-to-overflowing plates. This measure will enrich SEIU at the expense of individuals.

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