GO TO SEIU503.org/COVID – for detailed information about our letter of agreement with DHS, as well as information on cash assistance, how to file for unemployment benefits, essential worker documents, information on child care assistance and more.
Every crisis has its heroes, its displays of selflessness and sacrifice. And now, amid the coronavirus pandemic, homecare and personal support workers who risk becoming infected themselves — and risk infecting their own families — are making extraordinary sacrifices to care for the most vulnerable among us.
Care providers, and other people on the front lines of this crisis, are put at risk when they go to work. The people in these jobs – often low paid and more likely to be people of color, immigrants and women – should not only have access to crucial personal protective equipment, but should also be compensated for these risks.
Always, but especially in times like these, it is the mission of our union to ensure that workers’ voices are part of the conversation, and the perspective of working people is taken into account.
To that effect, in March SEIU 503 signed a Letter Of Agreement (LOA) with the Department of Human Services (DHS) — like a short-term contract that lays out the rules for how DHS will deal with specific issues related to COVID-19 — to ensure that care providers have the support they need during this unprecedented public health crisis.
The agreement includes immediate access to personal protective equipment when available, provider number protection due to loss of work, prior authorization of short term overtime, the ability to submit vouchers online rather than in-person, and other improved communications and workplace policies.
In addition, the Oregon Homecare Workers Benefit Trust is providing a hardship benefit up to 40 additional hours of paid time off for eligible workers impacted by COVID-19.
Our website – SEIU503.org/COVID – has detailed information about this benefit and our letter of agreement with DHS, as well as information on cash assistance, how to file for unemployment benefits, essential worker documents, information on child care assistance and more.
And finally, as outbreaks continue around the world, and cases continue to increase in Oregon, we’re calling on employers to step up and offer a COVID-19 pay differential to people whose jobs put them on the front lines of COVID-19. Sign our petition if you agree! Go to bit.ly/CovidEssential
This crisis has laid bare major shortcomings in our long-term care system. Care providers are not adequately supported in the best of times, and when our systems are stressed, they break. Our Union will do everything we can to ensure that the impact of the coronavirus is as limited as possible, but we can’t stop there. We must continue pushing for systemic improvements to long-term care because everyone deserves to live with dignity and respect.
SEIU503 RESOURCES for Care Providers
SEIU 503 has worked quickly to ensure workers’ voices are not ignored as employers, government agencies and policy makers roll out COVID-19 plans. It’s times like these that we’re especially thankful we have a strong union that can respond and make sure our voices are heard. Resources available to eligible Homecare and Personal Support workers include:
- Cash assistance through the Oregon Homecare Worker Benefit Trust,
- Cash assistance through the SEIU 503 COVID-19 Hardship Fund
- Protected worker benefits,
- Assistance applying for unemployment and childcare benefits, and
- A letter of agreement with DHS protecting workers.
Go to SEIU503.org/COVID for detailed information and links to resources.