SEIU members are on the front lines of the coronavirus, caring for the sick, seniors and people with disabilities. We keep our communities clean, safe and healthy.

COVID-19 is preventable and treatable, but only if we ensure working people are informed and protected. Basic wellness practices like frequent handwashing and staying home if we’re sick can help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

SEIU members and millions of other service and care workers across the country are on the front lines of this crisis every day, putting our health at risk to protect our families and our communities during this medical emergency. Many more working people are living in fear that emergency closures and cutbacks will leave them unable to pay their bills. We are compiling information and resources for working people here.

For more specific information about your state, industry, or employer, contact your local union.

Why a Union Matters

The COVID-19 outbreak has shown the importance of working people having the collective power that comes when we join together in a union to hold employers accountable and fight for our families, the people we care for and provide services for, and our communities.

1199NW and other unions negotiated an agreement with a hospital system in Washington that boosts pay for workers who are floated into new units to care for the influx of infected patients, secures full benefits for workers who have to quarantine, and adds protections for workers age 60+.

In Maine, Local 1989 members won cross-training and reassignment in lieu of layoffs for some state employees.

In California, SEIU Local 221 members negotiated with the Fallbrook Union High School District to ensure that:

  • Employees will continue to receive their regular pay during school closure.
  • FUHSD will work to ensure safe working conditions that follow the guidelines of the California Department of Public Health.
  • FUHSD will pay absence pay for family care.
  • FUHSD guidelines on verification of illness will take into account the impact on healthcare providers.

See MOU here.

Local 221 members also won 10%-20% hazard pay differentials for San Diego Housing Commission employees who work in person during the "Stay at Home" order and $80-$100 per month to each employee working from home to help cover their remote work costs.

In Maryland, Local 500 members won major protections for people working in Montgomery County Public Schools. Members staying home are receiving full pay and essential workers who have to go into work are being paid double.

In Pennsylvania, Local 668 members won emergency paid sick leave, bonuses and hazard pay for people who are continuing to care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout this crisis and reached an agreement with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that adds safety protections, more stringent cleaning expectations and broad telework for all County Assistance Offices.

In Los Angeles, Local 721 members working LA County Health Services won more PPE to protect healthcare providers at risk of exposure to coronavirus.

In Michigan, MCO members won hazard pay for corrections officers reporting to duty throughout the pandemic.

SEIU Local 1021 members are demanding employers ensure safe staffing, provide paid time off, establish screening protocols, and provide personal protective equipment for all employees whose jobs require it.

SEIU 32BJ members have won additional paid leave, expedited access to unemployment insurance, and new protections against utility shut-offs and evictions.

SEIU District 1199 OH/WV/KY members are advocating for new state worker protections including enhanced hourly stipends and protections for people with underlying health conditions.

SEIU Local 221 members in the County of San Diego won access to additional paid leave which would cover parents with school-age children who must stay at home, either because of the school closures or because of the virus, or people who feel sick.

In Seattle, 1199NW demanded that Target divert local mask sales to the medical system. After working with government leaders, Target committed to getting the supplies to medical workers who need them most.

SEIU Local 503 members negotiated an agreement with one of the largest nursing home chains in the state to ensure workers have paid sick time, support for child care, and access to personal protective gear.

SEIU Local 721 members negotiated an agreement with Los Angeles County to ensure non-essential employees can telework.

SEIU Local 668 members bargained for a shift-staggering agreement to enhance the safety of caseworkers during the pandemic.

SEIU Local 503 members negotiated an agreement with the state of Oregon to provide the option of telework, protections for immune-compromised staff, and additional options for accessing paid leave.

1199UHE has mobilized its members from Florida to Massachusetts to demand that Congress provide funding, equipment, and adequate support for healthcare workers in the long. They’re using #WeAreEssential to redefine who is considered a healthcare worker. They’ve leveraged their relationships with state and local officials to ensure healthcare workers to priority access to childcare, transportation, and other supportive services.

What We’re Fighting For

America’s working people are seeing the country through this pandemic--just as we have in past crises. We must stand together and fight to create a better country coming out of it. Working people must be able to support their families until we have the testing and vaccines to keep everyone safe. People working on the front lines must have healthcare, sick days and protective equipment. Here’s what SEIU members are fighting for--and winning.

All working people should:

Have access to paid sick time and paid leave no matter where they work.

Remain employed and keep their pay and benefits, even if they can’t safely go to work right now.

Have access to quality, affordable healthcare, whether or not they’re currently employed.

Be able to access testing, healthcare, and economic relief--regardless of immigration status.

All essential workers should:

Have access to proper personal protective equipment (PPE). We must ensure sufficient production and distribution of PPE nationally for every worker who needs it.

Receive at least time and half of their current pay and a permanent minimum wage of $15 per hour.

Congress must pass legislation to:

Protect working people’s jobs and financial security by providing aid to businesses who make a commitment to maintain workers’ pay and benefits.

Expand healthcare coverage for the uninsured and prevent workers with coverage from losing access if they experience reduced hours, lose their job, or are furloughed.

Ensure monthly direct cash payments of up to $2,000 for each adult for at least 6 months.

Increase investment in unemployment insurance, food assistance (SNAP), and child care so no one goes hungry and everyone can care for their children throughout this crisis.

Enact a nationwide moratorium on foreclosures and evictions, power and water shutoffs, and student debt collection because no one should lose their home, be exposed to dangerous heat or cold or have their credit ruined due to the pandemic.

Provide more support for states and cities to keep workers employed and ensure that essential government functions are not cut or privatized.

Prioritize resources for communities that are most affected and least-served by tracking the impact of COVID-19 by race.

Provide additional election funding to expand vote-by-mail and ensure that our elections are safe and accessible for all in these unprecedented times.

Demand Protective Supplies for Healthcare Workers