CEA is joining with our fellow members of the labor movement in calling on the governor and legislators to protect the health and safety of all working people, including workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We must do everything we can to reduce the heavy toll this public health emergency is inflicting on the livelihoods of our colleagues and neighbors who are facing layoffs, furloughs, reduced hours, and shutdowns.
The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority has suspended utility disconnections for nonpayment and Governor Lamont has suspended certain requirements for furloughed workers so they can more easily obtain unemployment benefits—critical steps in making sure working people facing serious health and financial risks receive the assistance they need.
This crisis has exposed the shortcomings of our worker protection and health care systems. We need to make sure working people do not bear the brunt of the impact.
Steps the state of Connecticut should take include:
- Ensure the Unemployment Trust Fund is solvent by adding additional funds.
- Properly fund and supply personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care, public safety and law enforcement personnel.
- Implement paid family and medical leave as quickly as possible.
- Expand paid sick day law by providing workers additional sick leave when the Governor declares a state of emergency.
- Protect workers who use paid sick time to take care of themselves or others from discipline or termination.
- Expand childcare opportunities and provide funding to health care workers to ensure they can return to work.
All working people should have access to paid leave, paid sick days, unemployment insurance, and the necessary medical testing and treatment without incurring additional costs.
The labor movement’s proposals represent a comprehensive response for working people dealing with the fallout of the pandemic.