Tomorrow, May 5, the New York City Council is holding a virtual remote hearing on a package of legislation called the Essential Workers Bill of Rights which would provide expansive new benefits to essential workers including premium pay.
HCP President and CEO, Kathy Febraio plans to testify on behalf of HCP members.
In HCP’s testimony, Febraio made clear that the home care industry values its workers and strives to keep them safely employed. Our work together with our incredible workforce focuses on keeping patients safe in their homes and communities. This is especially important now when the elderly and vulnerable populations are particularly unsafe in congregate care settings. Home care is there.
The testimony highlighted that while the goals of the Essential Workers Bill of Rights are laudable, at this moment in history, these proposed mandates would likely cripple the already fragile home care industry. To be emphatically clear, HCP and its provider members proudly stand with our heroic workers and their families. We are fighting on their behalf day by day and hour by hour to ensure these brave and dedicated frontline workers have the critical personal protective equipment (PPE) and recognition they deserve and sorely need.
The testimony explained that HCP is gravely concerned by the “Essential Workers’ Bill of Rights”. This series of bills would provide expansive new benefits to essential workers. During these very uncertain times the home care industry is encountering several financial and operational challenges, not the least of which have arisen from policies newly enacted in the State budget. Moreover, as providers face mounting expenditures to obtain personal protective equipment in the open market, they are encountering prices that have increased tenfold or more.
HCP strongly urges the New York City Council to withdraw this legislation, unless or until there is City, State, and/or Federal financial support to fund its mandates.
Anything less will cripple our already fragile industry.
Adding new and significant financial burdens to home care employers, in addition to those recently added by the state and federal government, at this time undoubtedly would be seriously detrimental and hasten our demise. Without a significant appropriation of financial assistance from the city, state or federal government it will be nearly impossible for home care providers, that are currently operating on razor thin margins, in the face of significant state budget cuts, to provide the additional benefits contemplated by this legislation.
HCP, on behalf of its provider members, respectfully opposes this legislation. In addition to providing this testimony, HCP also sent a letter last month to the New York City Mayor and Council President outlining the opposition of the home care industry. HCP also urged its members providing services in New York City to take action to ensure the Mayor and City Council are aware of their opposition.