For Immediate Release
Contact: Natalia Pérez Santos

AFSCME’s Saunders: President Biden’s executive order is a milestone in effort to transform care work

AFSCME President Lee Saunders released the following statement in response to the Biden Administration's announcement of a new executive order to improve care across the country:

“Today, we celebrate a major milestone in our effort to address the crisis in care and win respect and recognition for care workers. President Joe Biden’s new executive order will lower care costs for working families while also investing in the essential workers who make all other work possible. From expanding home-based care for veterans to improving access and affordability of child care for tribes and military families, the Biden administration is leaving no stone unturned.

“Improving care is critical to building a strong, thriving economy. For too long, the care workforce, made up disproportionately of women of color, has been undervalued and underpaid. Despite working long hours in tough jobs that require skill, training and education, these workers have struggled to make ends meet. And it’s leading to a massive shortage of care providers. For everything caregivers do to help people live with greater dignity, they should have the dignity of a living wage and basic job protections.

“This executive order will help us reverse course. By instructing federal agencies to improve wages and working conditions in child care and long-term care, President Biden is setting a new standard for private industry and state and local governments to follow. This executive order secures historic investments in the care economy and commits the federal government to continue engaging workers, families, experts and labor unions to improve federal care assistance.

“Sooner or later, most people will rely on a care provider at some point in their lives. What providers do is so much more than a job; they care for the emotional and physical well-being of our loved ones. They help them learn, grow and thrive. They help us through end-of-life care and some of life’s most challenging moments. It’s high time we dedicated ourselves to transforming this sector for the betterment of all working people, and we applaud President Joe Biden for signing this groundbreaking executive order.”