Statement from AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler on the Biden–Harris administration’s announcement of a new proposed rule on staffing in nursing homes:
Our country doesn’t have a shortage of good nursing home workers—just a shortage of good nursing home jobs. Workers and the families of residents have been sounding the alarm for decades about the need for a minimum national staffing standard in nursing homes, and we commend the Biden–Harris administration for answering the call.
We are hopeful that today’s announcement of a proposed minimum national standard will be a critical first step toward strengthening our long-term care system, preventing unnecessary worker injury and burnout, and giving working families peace of mind that our loved ones will receive the high-quality care they deserve. This administration has listened to our concerns and we look forward to working with them throughout the regulatory process to improve the proposed rule.
This proposed regulation is about improving the quality of care and jobs in nursing homes, but its importance goes beyond this one sector. Corporations long have prioritized cutting costs rather than shoring up safety for health care workers and the people who rely on these life-sustaining services. Workers continue to bear the brunt of the care economy crisis and are stretched thin by a severe lack of resources. Care workers are egregiously underpaid and deeply undervalued, and it’s past time they receive good pay and dignity on the job.
This minimum staffing standard, as well as the recent release of the proposed rule to increase the transparency of nursing home finances, has the potential to enhance our nation’s care infrastructure and ensure all working families have access to the care they need in a setting that is right for them. It is paramount that these rules are finalized, and we are ready to mobilize our members to make sure that happens.
Contact: Danielle Noel, 202-637-5018