(Harrisburg) – Matthew Yarnell, President of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, issued the following statement in response to Gov. Josh Shapiro’s budget address today.
“Gov. Josh Shapiro’s budget address today reiterated his commitment to providing economic opportunities to all working families. We appreciate the Governor’s focus on kitchen table issues and addressing the high cost of living. We applaud and support the Governor’s recommitment to raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.
“But as healthcare workers, we continue to call on all elected officials – from the State House, to the Governor and Congress – to fully invest in healthcare workers by ensuring that all caregivers have a living wage, safe staffing, and the ability to collectively bargain and have a voice in the care we provide.
“Specifically, we will continue to strongly advocate for the necessary investment for home care workers to be on a path to earning $20 per hour and real accountability on home healthcare agencies that ensures taxpayers dollars go toward care and not just corporate profits.
“We are prioritizing enforcing new staffing requirements and oversight on the nursing home industry and strongly support the Governor’s call for additional investment in the Department of Health’s long term care enforcement. We continue to press for the Patient Safety Act, which passed the House in June 2023, that sets minimum safety standards that increase the ratios of patients to nurses, which the Governor supports.
SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania is the state’s largest and fastest-growing union of nurses and healthcare workers, uniting tens of thousands of professional and technical employees, direct care workers, and service employees in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home- and community-based services, and state facilities across the Commonwealth. SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania members are committed to improving the lives of health care workers and ensuring quality care and healthy communities for all Pennsylvanians.