Today, the Biden Administration announced it will be directing all nursing homes to require their staff be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to continue receiving Medicare and Medicaid funding. We expect a majority of employers to mandate the vaccine in the near future.
SEIU’s goal is universal vaccination so that everyone — Black, white and brown — is protected from COVID-19 virus and that together we can end this global pandemic. Our Michigan nursing home workers have put their lives at risk every day since the pandemic started to protect our most vulnerable citizens. We recognize the effects that mandatory vaccination will have on the morale and staffing in many of our facilities. However, it’s time to stop blaming working people and include essential workers in the process.
Workers need paid time off to take the vaccine, hazard pay and a seat at the table to ensure that all working people on the job are respected, protected, and paid fairly as we continue to fight COVID-19.
We stand firm in our commitment to stopping the virus, but our leaders can’t simply declare vaccine mandates and walk away. We are calling on our Michigan elected leaders to hold employers accountable and ensure that we can bring nursing home operators to the table to bargain these issues for workers. A failure here will only put workers and patients at further risk.