Our 2021-2022 Healthcare Heroes Legislative Agenda

February 24, 2021

The health pandemic has laid bare structural inequities that must be addressed to have a just and equitable recovery.

Our 2021 legislative agenda reflects both immediate worker protections and longer-term solutions that align with our healthcare heroes bill of rights that protects us, respects us, and pays us in the following areas: 

Quality Benefits: 

- An Act to Provide Retirement Security to Care Workers (SD2382 Sen. DiDomenico / HD3804 Rep. O’Day) that would instruct the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) and the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) to develop and establish a 403(b) account or another substantially similar individual retirement account program for personal care attendants and family childcare providers.

- An Act to Relative to Emergency Paid Sick Time (SD386 Sen. Lewis / HD531 Rep. Donato) would provide 10, job-protected additional days of emergency sick time, for a maximum of $850 dollars per week for essential workers to care for their families or for themselves if diagnosed with COVID-19 or to quarantine.

Appropriate Staffing and Care Team Planning & A Seat at the Table:

- An Act to Strengthen the Worker Voice in Hospital Care Planning (SD1244 Senator Cyr / HD3680 Rep. Malia)  through improved job standards and enhanced engagement of the workforce across Massachusetts hospitals by extending the ban on mandatory overtime, care team planning and workforce oversight.

- An Act to Improve Nursing Home Job Standards & Care Quality (SD609 Senator Feeney / HD1357 Rep. Balser) through care team planning and establishing a minimum standard hours per resident day (HPRD) for CNA services. 

Responsible Employers:

- Resolve to Improve Employer Standards for Massachusetts Nursing Homes (SD1060 Sen. Jehlen / HD1664 Rep. Cronin & Rep. Garballey) through building upon important 2020 pandemic-related reforms and establishing stronger accountability and oversight over Massachusetts skilled nursing facilities with new owner suitability review, nursing home worker survey, and statewide nursing home industry audit.

A Safe Work Environment: 

- An Act to Strengthen Emergency Preparedness for Home Care Workers (SD1130 Sen. Friedman / HD3403 Rep. Santiago) with hazard pay metrics, infection control & public health training, personal protective equipment (PPE) online exchange, and utilization of home care registry to improve communications with home care agency workforce during public health and other state emergencies.

- An Act to Create Safe Environments for Home Care Workers and Consumers (SD 2013 Sen. Lovely / HD1892 Rep. Moran) through the creation of a stakeholder advisory committee and amending state law to remove the current exemption and extend to personal care attendants for legal protections against unlawful employment discrimination.

Educational Opportunities and Career Advancement:

- An Act to Provide Pathways for Certified Nursing Assistants (SD973 Sen. Chandler / HD1439 Rep. Doherty)
that directs the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) to develop a comprehensive strategic plan for filling expected Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) shortages through reforms to certification programs and new pilot program.