Congress hears from an SEIU’s April Verrett about realities of home care work in the COVID-19 pandemic

“We need to show that this work is valued in our country”

SEIU Local 2015 President April Verrett spoke before Congress Wednesday during an Education and Labor Committee briefing. The briefing focused on the health and financial well-being of domestic workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Verret joined Ai-jen Poo, co-founder of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, in speaking about how home care workers have faced chronically low wages and a lack of basic benefits like affordable healthcare and paid sick days, and they receive little to no training. Despite being the most in-demand workforce in the country, home care workers simply can’t afford to stay in the job they love. 

“By advocating together with one voice in their union, home care workers have made some strides in some states [...] but it isn’t nearly enough and it clearly underscores that our long term care system simply is not sustainable as it is,” said Verrett. “It’s time to make sure that everyone working in this essential profession is respected and protected, that they are paid a living wage, and that they have a seat at the table to advocate for themselves and for their clients. We need to show that this work is valued in our country and we need a plan to create a new home care infrastructure that meets the needs of an aging country.”

For the first time in history, a presidential candidate is recognizing the central role of home care workers in the lives of families and our larger economy. Joe Biden's caregiving economy plan centers home care as the foundation of economic recovery by providing sustainable careers and offering family members relief to go to work knowing their loved ones have the care they need. SEIU home care workers are inspired and energized like never before and, over the next five weeks, are committed to mobilizing communities to vote for Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris, and achieve a vision of America where we lift each other up and keep each other safe.

 

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