SAN FRANCISCO – It was a rainy Friday by the BART station at 24th and Mission Streets, but that didn’t stop the people who chanted, danced, and rallied to permanently protect overtime pay for domestic workers.
This demonstration was to back Senator Connie Leyva’s bill SB 1015, which would cement the California Domestic Worker’s Bill of Rights into law.
Filipino domestic workers and their advocates say that this bill is important to properly pay workers and change the industry for the better.
Otherwise, the legislation would expire on Jan. 1, 2017.
Honor Nono, a Pinay caregiver, said, “We take care of the sick, the elderly, the young, the persons with disability and we deserve dignity for these things. They are the most vulnerable in our society and they need care and we do it with all our hearts, not only our hands.”
Lilian Galledo of the Filipino Advocates for Justice added, “It’s an industry with extreme exploitation and caregivers get asked to worked 10, 12, sometimes 16 hours a day and we need to develop standards and this is the first step in developing standards for this industry.”
The Filipinos at the rally said that the pay they receive would not only benefit themselves but it also helps their families back in the Philippines.
Advocates for the domestic workers say that SB 1015 is just some of the provisions they would like to see become permanent in California.
“We need to get back to those things like workman’s comp for caregivers and time off and personal time and the ability to sleep five or eight hours a night,” said Galledo. “There’s a lot of other components but we won’t be able to have those if we don’t make at least make this first part of the Domestic Worker’s Bill of Rights permanent.”
The domestic workers and their advocates hope to have Governor Jerry Brown sign SB 1015 into law by September.