1199SEIU Statement on Massachusetts Phased Reopening

May 18, 2020

1199SEIU Executive Vice President, Tim Foley, issued the following statement to Governor Baker's phased reopening plan for Massachusetts:

“The 70,000 healthcare workers of 1199SEIU have been battling the COVID-19 pandemic daily in hospitals, health centers, nursing homes, and private homes. As the state begins to reopen, we are committed to making sure that it is done deliberately, with adequate safeguards and social distancing in place, to prevent a resurgence of the virus that could potentially overwhelm caregivers in every setting. These are key components of 1199SEIU’s principles and ensure that all communities, especially communities of color that have been hardest hit, are protected. 

As healthcare providers are allowed to expand care in phase one, the voices of frontline healthcare workers must be a part of the ongoing decision-making process to reopen safely. That requires adequate PPE on hand that does not rely on reuse and decontamination but on a stable and reliable supply chain. Additionally, free COVID-19 testing must be accessible for all healthcare workers. And, we must ensure that workers have the support necessary including paid sick and family leave, housing, and mental health access. 

We remain committed to incorporating the lessons learned during this time to continue to protect the quality care Massachusetts families deserve.”