With more federal money coming from the American Rescue Plan Act passed last month, caregivers want Washington lawmakers to extend hazard pay and increase to at least $4, which is comparable to other essential workers.

Adam Glickman is secretary- treasurer for Service Employees International Union 775, which represents home caregivers in Washington. He said it’s a low-wage workforce and hazard pay will help retain and recruit workers at a crucial time.

“These workers are continuing to make a choice to risk their own health and their families’ health to go out and help seniors and people with disabilities be safe and healthy in their own homes,” said Glickman.

Wilson said caregivers brought to people’s attention how essential they’ve been during the pandemic.

“It wasn’t just the crisis,” said Wilson. “It was the crisis and us also pushing, saying we need to be able to get to our clients. We need to be able to feed our families. We need the money, and the money’s there so why not help us?”

SEIU 775 wants lawmakers to extend hazard pay before the Legislature is scheduled to adjourn on April 25.

Read more at Public News Service.