1199 Pres. Gresham: As Critical Processes Move to Help Secure Care for Kids of Essential Workers, NYC Schools Should Close to Protect Public Health

March 15, 2020

“It’s no secret that hardworking healthcare workers are on the front lines of the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19. These dedicated women and men work diligently day in and day out to care for their patients and to protect public health, but like all working parents, they also have a responsibility to protect their own children.

“I have been in discussion with other allies on the possibility of providing this much needed childcare through school resource centers, and I am confident that a plan will be reached to ensure that these children receive the care they need while their parents work. I also encourage the state and city to look into allocating additional funding for childcare for the children of healthcare workers and other essential employees.

“With these critical processes moving, I am now calling on Mayor de Blasio to close New York City’s public schools to help protect public health and prevent the spread of COVID-19.”


With over 450,000 caregivers, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in America. We represent workers in five states including Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Florida, and the District of Columbia.