Lawmakers Call on NYS to Care for Caretakers

February 18, 2016

New York State Senators Diane Savino and Jeff Klein joined 1199SEIU Pres. George Gresham, Sec. Treas. Maria Castaneda and scores of homecare workers for a mid-day rally at the Union’s Manhattan headquarters to express their support for caregivers in the Fight For $15.

At the rally, Senators Savino and Klein, who is head of the State Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference, discussed how the wage increase would be a boon to the state’s economy by reducing worker turnover, reducing dependence on public assistance and creating jobs.

Both senators praised homecare as indispensable to the fabric of society.

“What you do is not a job,” said Sen. Savino. “It’s a calling."

“You do God’s work,” affirmed Sen. Klein, after telling his family’s own personal experience with long-term care workers.

Several 1199SEIU homecare members told stories of how winning the Fight for $15 would raise them out of poverty, provide opportunities for their children and create better lives for their families.

“I work seven days a week, 12 hours a day and I still can’t make ends meet,” said home health aide Lisa Johnson, who stood on stage with her daughter, who has epilepsy. “But we are going to continue to stand up until we get what we deserve and win the Fight For $15.”