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Healthcare Workers Knock Hundreds of Doors in ‘Caregivers in the Community Kickoff’

Local Nurses, Healthcare Workers Knock Hundreds of Doors in ‘Caregivers in the Community Kickoff’ to Elect Champions on November 6

Hundreds of union caregivers talk to voters at 9 locations across PA in support of candidates fighting for good jobs and healthy communities

In the face of unprecedented attacks on workers’ rights, nurses, healthcare workers, union members and allies rallied at nine separate ‘Caregivers in the Community’ events on Saturday, October 20th in support of electoral candidates that put working families first.

IMG-4760In Philadelphia, Governor Tom Wolf came out to show his support of union members, standing alongside home care workers and other SEIU members. Watch it here.

In Scranton, the group was joined by local candidates, including Congressman Matt Cartwright of the 17th District and Kyle Mullins, running for State Rep in the 112th District, to speak out about the importance of re-electing Governor Wolf and other candidates who will make good union jobs and safe staffing a top priority in Harrisburg and in DC, and why those issues are so important to NEPA communities.

“The choice for voters in Northeastern PA on November 6 couldn’t be more simple – or more important,” Barbara Coleman, a Certified Nursing Assistant. “We can either elect leaders that will fight every day to support working people and good jobs, or we can elect politicians that will put the interests of corporations first. That’s why I’m supporting Governor Wolf and others who will make our state stronger, not IMG_3576tear us apart.”

The stakes for union workers is at an all time high in this election. Following the Supreme Court’s Janus decision, Governor Wolf reaffirmed his support for protecting workers’ collective bargaining rights, whereas his opponent, Scott Wagner, has pledged to make PA a ‘right to work’ state, weakening healthcare workers’ ability to advocate for themselves and their patients through their unions.

“Scott Wagner has made it no secret how he feels about workers’ union rights. Having a voice on the job in the healthcare field is incredibly important, not just for front-line caregivers but also for our patients,” said Cat Cooney, RN. “It’s important for me to be out here to educate our community about where candidates stand on the issues. We need to elect candidates who support workplace rights and will fight for better job standards for everyone in our community.”

IMG_2439The importance of this election to union members and healthcare workers have inspired thousands of SEIU Healthcare PA members to get involved in the electoral process at an unprecedented level. For months, they weighed in and identified the issues that matter most on the job and in their communities. Collectively, union members built a Care Plan for PA, a prescription every candidate should follow to make our state stronger. The key elements of the Care Plan are:

  • Safe staffing: No one should ever suffer because there aren’t enough nurses and caregivers in a hospital or nursing home.
  • Good jobs and strong union contracts: Working people should be able to take care of their families and everyone deserves to have a say in their wages and working conditions.
  • Adequate funding for services that help our children and the elderly.

“Pennsylvania is in the midst of a staffing crisis in our hospitals and nursing homes and we need elected leaders who will make safe staffing legislation an urgent priority. I’m supporting Governor Wolf and other candidates who have taken the time to listen to nurses and unequivocally stated their support to pass safe patient limit laws,” said Cooney.

To make safe staffing and good union jobs a priority in Harrisburg and Washington, thousands of union healthcare workers are signing the Care Plan Pledge, vowing to vote for candidates who support our values. They are sharing a ‘find your champions’ digital tool that allows union members to find candidates who support their Care Plan values.  And from now until the election, they will continue to knock doors and talk to thousands of PA voters about the importance of electing candidates who support safe staffing, good union jobs, and adequate funding for vital services.

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