Frontline workers today called on the Trump administration to show the leadership the country has been waiting for, and ensure all health care and frontline workers have the personal protective equipment they need to safely care and serve our communities.
Union members are demanding the Trump administration immediately invest in the health and safety of every worker, including taking the following actions to increase the supply of PPE in Colorado:
- Identifying reserves of masks/equipment in other industries, such as construction, and redistributing them to healthcare providers.
- Using all powers of the federal government to speed immediate production of new equipment and ensure it is routed to states for distribution across acute care, home care and long term care settings.
- Immediate distribution of the masks and equipment held in the Strategic National Stockpile.
- And ensuring that all frontline healthcare workers across all settings and emergency response workers can be tested easily to slow the spread of the virus.
Ashley Moore, Home Caregiver in Denver
“Our lack of equipment is so bad, that we are having to make safety masks with paper towels, rubber bands, and staples. It’s sad, but it’s better than sending caregivers to work without any protection,” said Ashley Moore, a home caregiver in Denver. “We need our elected leaders and corporations to move as quickly as possible to provide the necessary PPE materials for healthcare workers on the frontlines. Lives are on the line, including mine.”
Angelica Lerma, a psychiatric technician at Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo
“To slow the spread of the virus we need PPE for everyone who is on campus, whether they work on a unit or deliver mail,” said Angelica Lerma, a psychiatric technician at Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo. “I have a sense of responsibility to my clients. They have been removed from society and the only way for the facility to get the virus is if a staff person brings it in. We are taking precautions, like testing temperature and quarantining staff that may have been exposed to the virus, but we need help from the federal government to ensure that essential workers across all settings have access to tests and safety equipment we need.”
As COVID-19 spreads, SEIU members are calling on Congress to ensure all working people have health care coverage and paid sick time, and that elected officials and corporations put financial relief for working people first, not airport bailouts and multi-billion dollar corporations.
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 105 is an organization made up of more than 8,500 healthcare, property service, and airport workers in Colorado. Our union is part of the fastest-growing union in North America, whose 2 million members make up the largest healthcare union, the largest property services union, and the second-largest public services union.
Colorado WINS is the union representing more than 28,000 classified state employees who work to ensure our quality of life in communities across the state and provide essential services to more than 5.6 million Coloradans.
The Colorado AFL-CIO represents approximately 180 affiliate unions, whose membership totals more than 130,000 working Coloradans. The Colorado AFL-CIO is dedicated to organizing working people in the State of Colorado; to securing and protecting dignity and equality, rights and benefits, and to raising the standard of living and quality of life for all working people and their families.