SEIU Healthcare requests PPE, testing, hazard pay for workers
SEIU Healthcare Illinois is calling for healthcare workers to have more access to personal protective equipment, COVID-19 testing and hazard pay as they respond to the pandemic.
Union President Greg Kelley said during a virtual press conference last week that hospitals and providers need to do everything they can to protect employees throughout the care delivery system, such as medical technicians and nursing assistants.
“Every facet of the healthcare delivery system at hospitals are at risk in this COVID-19 environment,” he said. “It’s important that we hear from them, that we protect them and that we give them what they need in this moment as they all seek to take care of us.”
Several union members raised their own concerns about accessing hazard pay at their hospitals, especially for those who do not actively work with COVID-19 patients.
State Sen. Robert Peters, D-Chicago, said policymakers need to look out for these workers, especially as those employees at the city’s southside and westside hospitals often come from low-income, predominantly African American communities.
“What we have to do is make sure we’re looking out for people who are looking out for us,” he said.
Health News Illinois is removing the password on all stories related to the coronavirus. For the latest developments follow us on Twitter at @healthnewsil or check out our website. For complete healthcare coverage, sign up for a free trial to our daily email newsletter.