Following a vote by Assembly Republicans to pass Assembly Bill 1, Ramon Argandona, President of SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin and Environmental Services hospital worker in Madison, issued the following statement:

“For months, Wisconsin healthcare workers have been telling lawmakers exactly what we need to make it through this crisis.  Assembly Bill 1 does nothing to address those needs. Today’s decision by Republican leaders to advance such a woefully  inadequate bill is not only shameful, but it demonstrates disrespect and disregard for frontline healthcare workers who have risked our own health and safety to care for the public.

“By contrast, Assembly Democrats proposed a bill earlier this week that took up our demands and showed us that they listen and value the voices of healthcare workers. We applaud their efforts and encourage all lawmakers to take action on a meaningful COVID response package that provides critical support for frontline healthcare workers and first responders.”

“As the pandemic continues and our hospitals risk overwhelm and healthcare workers battle not only the virus, but also the fatigue, stress and exhaustion of working without proper protection or support. Lawmakers call us heroes. Without meaningful action, those words are empty.  Any relief bill must expand workers’ compensation and ensure that all healthcare workers have fully paid sick time,  pandemic pay, and no-cost COVID health care coverage during the pandemic.”

“The number one job of elected officials is to look out for the health, safety and economic wellbeing of the people.  It is outrageous to see Republican lawmakers treating this crisis and our lives as a political game where they can score points.”

“We hope that lawmakers will set aside partisan differences, and do what is necessary to pass a real COVID response that will provide meaningful relief and support to our communities and will meet the needs of the healthcare workers and first responders risking our lives in this pandemic.”

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