Issued April 18, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mary Kay Henry, International President of the two-million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU) released the following statement Tuesday in response to President Joe Biden's groundbreaking executive order to lift up care workers and the people they care for.
Flanked by the child care, home care, and nursing home workers who never let up in their demands for action to strengthen our nation’s care infrastructure, President Biden signed an executive order that includes more than 50 directives to nearly every cabinet-level agency to expand access to affordable, high-quality care, and provide support for care workers and family caregivers.
“Today’s announcement is a major win for families and a testament to the collective power of working people. For more than a decade, the majority Black, Latina, Indigenous, AAPI, and immigrant women who power our care workforce have raised their voices to declare that care can’t wait and inaction is not an option. This executive order shows that the Biden Administration heard them.
Our nation’s care infrastructure is the foundation of our economy because it’s what makes all other work possible. Care work gets seniors and people with disabilities the support they need to live with dignity and independence in the setting of their choice. It also allows parents the freedom to earn a living knowing their children are safe.
This executive order is a critical first step towards transforming care jobs into good, family-sustaining union jobs that will build an equitable economic recovery and advance racial and gender equity. It will also provide critical relief to families struggling with the care crisis – from seniors and people with disabilities on long waitlists for home care to working parents forced to choose between the cost of child care and a paycheck.
But we still have work to do. Working people will continue to demand elected leaders at every level of government deliver sweeping investments in care work and care workers. That means enacting strong federal staffing standards for nursing homes, funding universal child care, and transforming all care jobs into good union jobs that pay livable wages and benefits. We’ll keep fighting until we win.”