FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Dec. 23, 2020
SEIU Healthcare 1199NW Statement on Federal COVID Relief Package
The COVID relief bill passed by Congress this week is a much-needed lifeline for working families but represents only a down payment on the relief legislation working families in Washington and across the U.S. will need to survive the coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic collapse. Extended unemployment assistance, funding for coronavirus vaccine procurement, rental assistance and an extension of the eviction moratorium are all welcome measures and of great value to the healthcare and behavioral health workers of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, our clients and the communities we serve.
Much work remains for the incoming Biden-Harris administration and the 117th U.S. Congress to provide the relief our communities and families need. Emergency leave and paid sick days for workers have not been extended, hazard pay for essential workers is not included, and state and local governments have been left out in the cold as they make the difficult choice to curb economic activity—and thus tax revenue—in order to keep their residents safe from COVID-19.
“As we reflect back on this year, we recognize that our members have borne too many traumas—COVID, an economic collapse, and the struggle of essential healthcare and behavioral health workers to win the protections they need to do their jobs safely,” said Diane Sosne, RN, MN, president of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW. “The COVID relief package just passed by Congress was held hostage by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his caucus for months. The resulting suffering needlessly hurt millions of US residents all the while catering to big greedy corporations. It leaves out too much of what our families and communities need. It will be up to President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris, and the next Congress, to make good on this down payment to working people and our struggling communities. We desperately need both a relief and stimulus package that works for everyone so that in 2021, no one is left behind.”
About SEIU Healthcare 1199NW
SEIU Healthcare 1199NW is a union of nurses and healthcare workers with nearly 32,000 caregivers throughout hospitals, clinics, mental health, skilled home health and hospice programs in Washington state and western Montana. SEIU Healthcare 1199NW’s mission is to advocate for quality care and good jobs for all.