The Womxn Project is a statewide organization focused on leveraging the power of art, activism, advocacy and education to advance the principles of reproductive justice, which demands that we all have the right to determine when and how we build our relationships, families and futures and that we have the ability to live and raise our children with dignity.
We are proud to submit testimony in support of S.271, which would raise the wage for direct-care workers. These are folks providing essential services in our communities and quality care to our loved ones and yet the current pay rate isn’t enough to pay their bills, put healthy food on the table, and pay for child care.
Throughout the global health crisis we have applauded health care workers. More than 3.5 million of those health care workers are known as direct care workers — the nursing assistants, personal care aides, and home health aides who work each day in private homes and long-term care settings to provide life-sustaining care to older adults with chronic conditions and younger people with disabilities.
Despite the critical work they do, direct care workers are so poorly compensated that one in eight are living in poverty. We are depending on these amazing people and they should be able to depend on us and know that in return for their incredible work that they will make a living wage.
In addition to being the right thing to do, it would also help to maintain, increase and strengthen this important part of our workforce and healthcare sector. It would also save money in the long run. A recent study found that three-quarters of direct care workers — mostly women and people of color —would receive a raise, allowing them to enjoy increased financial security and reducing their need to hold multiple jobs to make ends meet. This means that fewer people may need to utilize public benefits to make ends meet and care for their families and that people would have additional income to spend in our local economy.
If we truly believe direct care workers are essential and want to ensure that not only are their patients safe and cared for, but they are, too – then this bill is a great first step. We urge you to pass S. 271. We encourage you to vote yes on this legislation. Thank you.
Contact: Jocelyn Foye, 401-400-0061, [email protected]