Home Care workers COVID-19 demands on Global Day of Action
Today is the Home Care Global Day of Action. United Workers Union members are taking action and being joined by workers around the world from New Zealand, Ireland, the United States, and throughout Europe.
Home care workers around the world have three keys demands.
- Recognition Home care workers are calling for recognition as health care professionals. The essential work of the world’s home carers needs to made visible. Home care workers do not work in a single institution; they work in people’s homes. They are often alone with many clients relying on their visit to get out of bed that day, be safely handled, washed and fed. These workers provide the level of care and dignity required to keep people out of hospitals and nursing homes and in their own home for as long as possible.
- PPE Home care workers are calling for the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) during COVID-19. Currently there is an international demand and an international shortage of PPE. The WHO has stated that they need to be prioritised as they are working on the frontline with vulnerable members of the community. They need PPE to protect themselves and their clients, so they can safely do their job.
- Testing Home care workers are calling for more testing. Temperature testing is proven to help workers and clients protect themselves and reduce the spread of the coronavirus, however, home care workers are not being prioritised for this testing. This causes a domino effect, with workers losing shifts and clients not receiving essential services as workers are worried about the risk to themselves and to the people they care for.
United Workers Union spokesperson for Home Care Mel Gatfield said, “Today United Workers Union members are taking action and standing in solidarity with home care workers around the world.
“At this pinnacle time, with health care around the world in the spotlight, we are calling for the recognition of home care workers as health care professionals.
“As they continue to care for the most vulnerable in our communities during a global health pandemic they must be provided with adequate PPE and testing.
“Today these workers are coming together via an online picket from each corner of the world to share their stories and to take action to ensure they can do their jobs safely with the recognition they deserve.”
United Workers Union home care members are participating in an online picket from 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm (AEST) today. Workers will be sharing their stories about what they are facing during the COVID-19 crisis and taking actions.
“We deserve respect and recognition as our work is not easy and we’re playing a critical role during this health crisis. How we care for each other during this crisis will be what we remember once it is over.” – Lillian Grogan
“As a home care worker I take care of your loved ones, we are asking to be cared for in return. To do our best to care for our clients, stop the spread of the coronavirus and feel safe, we need adequate PPE and testing.” – Kendall Hartshorn
*** INTERVIEW AND PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES TODAY***
Home care workers and union spokesperson Mel Gatfield are available for interviews.
Photos and video content from the online picket line will be available on request.
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