Long Beach City Council Adopts Resolution From SEIU Local 2015, Pledging An Equitable Vaccine Distribution and Rights to Long Term Caregivers
The Long Beach City Council Will Support the “Carmen the Caregiver – We Can Do It!” Campaign to Provide Vaccines Equitably to Communities in Need
(Long Beach, CA) – Today, the Long Beach City Council adopted a resolution that pledges to support an equitable vaccine rollout and create a system that reflects the essential work of caregivers and protects both long term care workers and recipients. The resolution was drafted by SEIU Local 2015, California’s largest union representing 400,000 long term caregivers throughout the state, and sponsored by Vice Mayor Rex Richardson. The resolution formally recognizes the importance of the “Carmen the Caregiver — We Can Do It!” campaign, which was created by SEIU Local 2015 to defeat the COVID-19 virus through promoting mass vaccination, but also the commitment of the City Council to lead on supporting the future of caregiving and frontline essential workers – taking steps to ensure this community is never left so vulnerable again.
In recognizing the campaign, the City Council will work with SEIU Local 2015 to prioritize frontline essential workers, including the long-term care workforce. Utilizing a lens of equity, the campaign will work to target the most COVID-impacted communities in Long Beach, establish a network of distribution centers that expand the scope and accessibility of the vaccine to the City’s caregiver communities, as well as organize and facilitate the distribution in a way that instills the utmost confidence in the vaccine.
In addition to pledging to create an equitable rollout of the vaccine, the resolution recognizes the failures of the long term care system that exacerbated the devastation of the Covid-19 virus. In adopting this resolution, Long Beach, which has led California in the vaccination efforts, is now leading the state in committing to the future of caregiving.
To address this downward trend, the resolution promises to:
- Access to a steady supply of medical-grade PPE for all long term caregivers in Long Beach;
- Investment in this workforce with a minimum of 2 weeks sick time, and hazard pay that reflects the essential nature of the work;
- Invest in training for infectious control and a program that includes disaster preparedness with regular upskilling allowing for workers’ healthcare growth opportunities;
- Establishing a livable wage and benefits that demonstrate the value of long term care workers not just in this moment, but moving forward and always;
- Further investment in recruitment and training of workers to meet the growing demands of the aging population.
“We are proud to see the steps taken by Vice Mayor Richardson and the whole City Council to protect the caretakers that have worked in the shadows for so many years,” said Dereck Smith, Executive Vice President of SEIU Local 2015. “This commitment to distribute the vaccine to those who have been working on the frontlines to protect the most vulnerable communities sets a precedent that we hope to see across the state. Investing in these workers has been essential long before the pandemic, and is pertinent to creating safe and equitable workforce in the future. We look forward to continuing our work with Long Beach and other cities across the state.”
“Long term care givers have worked throughout this pandemic to support our most vulnerable populations,” said Long Beach Vice Mayor Rex Richardson. “Now that the vaccine is available to all individuals with disabilities, we must continue to protect the front-line workers that have acted as a lifeline for homebound Californians. We look forward to supporting the dedicated members SEIU Local 2015 to ensure that all its members and the people they care for are protected now and into the future.”
“I am thrilled to see my city supporting the work I have done throughout this pandemic,” said Martha Davila, Member of SEIU Local 2015, “My fellow caregivers and I have worked relentlessly over the last year in the face of this virus, and the vaccine is the only hope for a return to safety and normalcy. Knowing that the City is supportive of this need to protect us is a relief after a year of living in fear.”
Between 2015 and 2030, California’s population of individuals older than 65 is expected to increase by 73% from 5.2 million to 9 million by 2030, more than one million California seniors will need assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and long-term care services and supports (LTSS). Long term care systems have been neglected and low wages and insufficient training opportunities have not only created unsustainable levels of turnover in the nursing home and homecare industries but are also deterrents to those looking to enter the workforce. Adopting this resolution makes Long Beach the leading city in California to pledge to invest in a long term care system that supports all Californians.
ABOUT SEIU LOCAL 2015
Representing over 400,000 long term care workers (home care, skilled nursing facility, and assisted living center workers), SEIU Local 2015 is the largest union in California. Its members are as diverse as the state’s population and united in their commitment to caring for California’s most vulnerable: seniors and the disabled.