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Berta Alvarado, Home care provider

We have a strong union of caregivers in Washington state and together we have won many improvements in our jobs and changes that allow us to provide the best care possible for our clients.

One victory that is especially personal for me is our health insurance coverage that we won. I live with heart disease, celiac disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, so I need a lot of medications that are very expensive.

Before, I struggled to pay for the medications I need. During that time, I got very sick and needed a hysterectomy but didn’t have health insurance to cover the surgery. The surgery ended up costing $30,000. I don’t have this kind of money lying around. Who does?

Now, everything is different. Because of our union contract, I have health insurance. My medications and doctors appointments are covered. My most recent surgery only cost me $50 out-of-pocket.

That’s what it means to use our power in numbers in our union.  

Berta Alvarado
Home care provider
Othello, WA
SEIU 775