“Brittany Williams, a home care worker in Seattle, said her work was scaled back this year because she’s had to focus on her 8-year-old son whose classes have gone online. She’s down to working two days a week and gets by thanks to food donations from her church.
Williams makes $17.05 an hour thanks to a union contract, putting her slightly above the median wage of $14.76 for home care workers in Seattle. But the stress — of missing bills, riding the bus to work and wondering whether she or her son will get sick — has made for a punishing year.
Williams outlined those challenges for Biden during a roundtable discussion he held with frontline health care workers in November.
‘Caregivers, we’re the maintainers of life,’ she told him. ‘Caregivers were out there doing what had to be done, and we still are. We have to live with the [fear] in the back of our head.’
Reflecting on the call later, Williams said it was ‘humbling’ to see so much focus put on care work for the first time.
‘It’s time for essential workers to be respected,’ said Williams, 34. ‘It’s beyond time that we are protected and we are paid on the level of what we give out as far as our value.'”