It's clear: Speaker Boehner and his Republican colleagues in the House ignored the will of the majority of Americans. Rather than do their job, they failed to act for our country and pass immigration legislation that would have kept families together, brought millions out of the shadow and strengthened our economy.

So now, President Obama has committed to take executive action for our immigrant communities.

Share your message with President Obama on how his commitment to immigrant families can strengthen all our communities. We'll be delivering your stories to the White House.

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1:57 PM Eastern - Monday, June 30, 2014

Hobby Lobby court case ruling? Unbelievable! #default


India Walton protested the Supreme Court hearing for Hobby Lobby in January, and is committed to continue fighting for women and workers. Stand with her. -->

Unbelievable!

The Supreme Court issued a decision today that BOSSES at certain corporations can decide which forms of birth control women have access to.

Not a woman herself. Not a healthcare provider. A BOSS! As a NICU nurse, I am outraged.

This ruling in the Hobby Lobby court case also chips away at one of the most popular provisions of the Affordable Care Act. It's the guarantee that, no matter what insurance plan you have, you'll get a wide range of basic preventive services for free -- annual checkups, cancer screenings, even maternity care.

Except that now some forms of contraception won't be covered for women working at certain corporations with "religious beliefs." This puts a heavy burden on women and families working minimum wage jobs and already struggling to make ends meet.

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12:06 PM Eastern - Monday, June 30, 2014

No court case is going to stop us #default

"No court case is going to stop us!"

That is the resounding message being spoken since the Supreme Court issued a ruling on Harris v. Quinn, which places at risk Illinois home care workers ability to come together to have a strong voice for good jobs and quality home care.

Show your solidarity and share our graphic now.

I STAND WITH ILLINOIS HOME CARE WORKERS

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11:07 AM Eastern - Monday, June 30, 2014

Hobby Lobby Ruling Puts Ideology Over Sound Health Policy #default

The Supreme Court today sided with corporate interest over the health of working people in their ruling in the Hobby Lobby case.

Nurses know how important the relationship between a patient and their healthcare provider is in ensuring the best healthcare outcomes. Allowing politics and ideology to define healthcare policy is a bad prescription for women's health.

Depending on where you work, the court's ruling allows your boss to make decisions about your healthcare based on his or her religious beliefs. As a nurse who spent 25 years on the front lines of care, I know this is not sound health policy.

This ruling harms millions of women and puts them in real economic and emotional distress. Access to certain reproductive health services will now depend on where you work and how much you make.

Women across the country will now be forced to make tough choices between using recommended forms of birth control and keeping gas in the car or food on the table.
SEIU nurses fought for decades for healthcare reform. While this is a disappointment, it is not the end of our fight. Across the country, we vow to fight back and continue to advocate for the health of our patients.

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10:31 AM Eastern - Monday, June 30, 2014

Supreme Court Case Could Impact Home Care Workers and Consumers #default

This post originally appeared here January 14, 2014.

Areesa Johnson, Springfield, IL Home Care Worker

PHOTO: Areesa Johnson, Springfield, IL Home Care Worker

On January 21, 2014, the Supreme Court will hear Harris v. Quinn, a case brought by the National Right to Work Committee, an extreme right-wing think tank. This case threatens home care workers' right to collectively bargain with states to improve working conditions.

More than that, Harris v. Quinn jeopardizes the ability of senior citizens and people with disabilities to live independently at home. Weakening our home care workforce will result in more folks being forced to live in institutions.

I have been a Personal Assistant for four years now, caring for people with disabilities in my Springfield, Illinois community. Seventeen years ago, my husband fell ill and that was my first experience as a caregiver. I fell in love with the work then and with each new consumer I work with, that love only continues to grow.

This line of work often involves more than an exchange of services; you build a relationship with the people you care for and share in the joy of their independence through the work that you do. My consumers get to stay in our community, living safely and independently where they want to be, and that makes me very proud to be a home care provider.

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5:17 PM Eastern - Friday, June 27, 2014

House Republicans: It's now or never #default

On June 27, 213, the Senate passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill with 68 votes and the country rejoiced.

One year later, Republicans in the House continue to block reform. Instead of fixing the problem once and for all, House Republicans are choosing to play politics with this important issue.

We've come too far and gone through too much together to stop fighting to reform our broken system and bring 11 million aspiring Americans out of the shadows.

Watch this video for a compelling and heart wrenching reminder of why we need House Republicans to move forward on immigration reform now. Then spread the word to 5 friends.

Ana Fernanda Zaragoza, a DREAMer and DACA recipient, shares her heart breaking story as she starts her college career amidst the devastating situation of her father's deportation

Yesterday, Democratic Senators came together to speak out for reform. "Republicans know that if the House does not pass immigration reform they'll be handing the House, the presidency, the Senate, to Democrats in 2016," said Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)

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4:02 PM Eastern - Thursday, June 26, 2014

Commonsense Immigration Reform Respects Our Elders #retirement-security

Imagine contributing your hard-earned money into a retirement system all the while knowing that you'll never be able to access the program's benefits. Sounds unfair, right? But it's a sad reality for 72-year-old Ricardo Perez.

The California resident has paid into Social Security since migrating from Mexico in 1985. However, he'll never receive those benefits under our current immigration policies. These policies also prohibit undocumented workers from receiving Medicare, food stamps, subsidized housing or other public programs that hold deep poverty at bay for millions of senior citizens.

Because undocumented immigrants of all ages are twice as likely as the general population to live in poverty, elderly immigrants are less likely to have designated retirement savings. To survive, many of these seniors are left with little choice but to keep working low-wage, often physically demanding jobs--street vendor, cleaning houses or working as home caregivers--for the rest of their lives.

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Bonnie Senteno is an independent education consultant and single mom who lives with her son in San Francisco, CA. She also is one of the nearly 8 million Americans who recently signed up for lower-cost health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

"I got a plan that covers me and my son for about $80/month. It means that we'll be able to go from waiting in lines at clinics to getting to schedule appointments at doctor's offices, " she said. "It's also a lot of stress off of me and my son. I want him to know that if something happens, like if we need to call an ambulance, that we have insurance for something like that."

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5:31 PM Eastern - Tuesday, June 24, 2014

SEIU RN Advocates for Patients and Medicaid Expansion at the White House Summit for Working Families #default

I was honored to represent SEIU and join President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, policymakers, advocates, business leaders and ordinary citizens to discuss policy solutions that can make a real difference in the lives of working families at the Working Families Summit at the White House today. I emphasized how important healthcare policy--in particular the full implementation of the healthcare law, including the expansion of Medicaid--is to families.

As a nurse, I shared experiences from my 26 years in the profession. I have seen what a difference access to quality affordable healthcare makes and I know what a difference the Affordable Care Act makes in the lives of Pennsylvanians. While I am incredibly disappointed that our Governor and legislature did not accept the federal funds set aside to provide healthcare to hard-working families, I believe my frustration is shared by many--we are tired of people elected to represent us playing politics with our health.

At today's summit I also heard people discuss the challenges of feeling powerless in the workplace--dealing with no paid sick leave, lower take home pay or an inability to advocate for safer working conditions for fear of losing their job. This discussion reinforced for me how important it is to be a part of 85,000 nurses represented by SEIU. I know what a difference having an advocate who will fight for safe working conditions, fair compensation and continued professional development has made for my colleagues and me.

There is a lot of work to be done too many working Americans - both women and men - are living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to make ends meet and respond to the competing demands of work and family. For me the conversations today were a part of an important discussion that I will take back home and continue to have with leaders in my community.

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4:18 PM Eastern - Tuesday, June 24, 2014

My Union Has Always Had My Back #default

obama-lunch.jpg

PHOTO: Shirley Young received the surprise of a lifetime when President Obama treated her to lunch during the White House Summit on Working Families on Monday.

Many of the women in my family have worked in healthcare, so I always knew that I wanted to help people. I've now worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) for over 23 years.

Yesterday, during the White House Summit on Working Families, I was able to share my passion for the healthcare profession with President Barack Obama. We talked over lunch about the importance of unions, how to ensure that workers like my coworkers and I have access to fair wages and the benefits we all need to take care of our families.

Our work is challenging. Sometimes we don't have the supplies we need to care of the residents and our client loads seem to get heavier every day. However, if my coworkers and I didn't have a union, we would have an even harder job. There would be more people subject to unfair termination or discipline. We wouldn't have sick days or the medical and dental benefits we need. And we'd be getting less pay because management could do whatever they want. Now we can come together and demand the respect and dignity we all deserve.

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