VNSNY and Partners in Care joined nearly 2,000 home care workers from around the New York metropolitan region in lower Manhattan on Tuesday to raise our voices in support of the Better Care, Better Jobs Act, which is currently being considered by Congress. Spearheaded by 1199SEIU, the rally stressed the importance of home care workers as an essential workforce providing care for vulnerable New Yorkers who want to age safely and comfortably in their homes.
The legislative vehicle for a $400 Billion proposal from the Biden Administration to invest in the caregiver economy, the Better Care Better Jobs Act, would increase Medicaid funding to states, enabling them to invest in-home- and community-based services, and would also raise the wages of home care workers, including home health aides. VNSNY is joining a broad group of stakeholders to lobby Congress to pass this critical legislation.
Mayor Bill de Blasio made a special guest appearance and gave home care workers and their families and supporters in attendance his passionate affirmation that “Home care workers are essential.”
“We need you. This city needs you. This state needs you. This nation needs you,” Mayor de Blasio said. “No matter how tough it was, you showed up. God bless you for what you did for the people of this city during its toughest hour. You are the heroes!”
VNSNY Partners in Care SVP Jim Rolla addressed the huge gathering of home care workers – the only home care organization leader invited to speak. Other speakers included 1199SEIU President George Gresham and Executive Vice President Rona Shapiro, as well as U.S. Representative Hakeem Jeffries, New Yorkers who depend daily on home care workers, and of course several home care workers themselves, who spoke passionately about the care and dedication they give to their clients. “We have been fighting for home care workers and we’re going to continue fighting for home care workers until we win,” said 1199’s Shapiro in her remarks.
The Better Care, Better Jobs Act in Congress will give New York a lot of money for home and community-based care, and make sure it gets spent on raising the wages of the workers who are taking care of our elderly and disabled brothers and sisters in their homes and communities,” Jim Rolla said. “VNSNY and Partners in Care are with you for the long run, making sure our friends in Washington know how important the Better Care Better Jobs Act is to home care workers and to the people we care for every day.”
Jim was interviewed at the rally by NY1 News and provided in-depth commentary to Manhattan Times and Home Health Care News.
“Home care workers are essential,” U.S. Representative Hakeem Jeffries said. “1199 is essential. Paying you a fair and decent wage is essential. Making sure you have the ability to retire with grace and dignity is essential. Making sure you have tremendous health care while you’re caring for others is essential, and that’s what we’re going to fight for in Washington D.C.”