At yesterday’s daily briefing, the Governor referenced that he was proposing a Hazard Pay increase for essential workers as part of any federal stimulus package. We could not agree more—the front line work force is courageous and dedicated and they deserve more than praise. Praise doesn’t pay the rent or the electric bill. They need financial support.-
What we urge is that whatever definition roles out nationally, we need the strong voice of the State’s leadership to advocate that the human service workforce is part of that definition. The heroic front line staffs in mental health, addictions disorder, developmental disabilities, aging, child welfare, domestic violence and food insecurity all should be part of any definition of essential workers. In the human service workforce, over 80% percent are women and over 40% are women of color.
The Governor has done an extraordinary job of highlighting the importance of our workforce to respond to the COVID 19 challenges. We need to make sure that our human service sector is recognized as an integral part of that workforce.