WASHINGTON D.C. — U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-Michigan) has announced that he is proposing a new “COVID–19 Heroes Fund,” which he says is designed to reward, retain, and recruit essential workers during the crisis.
The proposal would provide premium pay to essential workers, which would include a $25,000 pandemic premium pay increase for each essential worker.
That would equivalent to about a 13 dollar raise per hour, until the end of the year, for every essential worker including healthcare workers, and many other professions that are still out working during the crisis.
“But as we think about those critical jobs, we’re also talking about those folks that work in grocery stores,” said Senator Peters. “We still need food on the table, we still need to eat. And the brave men and women who are there working everyday in our grocery stores, stocking shelves and check–outs, making sure that we can get the food that we need are truly heroes as well. As well as folks who are all through the supply chain providing food to us. People who are in our pharmacies making sure that we have access to medicine. Our postal workers who are delivering mail and interfacing with the public, and delivering medicines and other important products to our doorstep. Other government workers, like TSA people who keep our airplanes safe during this tough time. Our customs people on the border. Many of our federal employees who still have to do their job, it’s absolutely necessary, it’s critical for our country, and yet everyday when they’re going to work and interfacing with the public, they’re putting themselves in harm’s way.”
The other part of the proposal would provide 15 thousand dollars as an incentive for people who choose to enter the health and home care fields during this time, as well as becoming first responders.
Senator Peters says that the proposal is still being worked on, and he hopes that it will be included in the next round of stimulus discussions in Congress.
Read the full release about the COVID-19 Heroes Fund below:
Peters Announces Coronavirus “Heroes Fund” Proposal, Calls for $25,000 Pay Increase for Essential Workers on Frontlines of Pandemic Response
U.S. Senator Gary Peters, Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, today announced a proposal for the “COVID-19 Heroes Fund,” to provide pandemic premium pay to reward, retain and recruit essential workers. Peters’ proposal consists of two major components: a $25,000 premium pay increase for essential healthcare workers, which would equate to a raise of $13 per hour from the start of the public health emergency until December 31, 2020 and a $15,000 essential worker recruitment incentive to attract and secure the workforce needed in Michigan and across the country to fight this public health crisis. The “Heroes Fund” would fully federally-fund the premium pay and recruitment and retention incentive to help support frontline workers, including health care professionals, workers at grocery stores, home care workers, first responders, pharmacists, postal workers and other essential workers.
“So many people are working hard and performing essential duties to help our communities confront this pandemic, and they deserve to be compensated for their dedication,” said Senator Peters. “Whether it’s health care providers and food supply workers in the private sector, or postal workers and security professionals in the public sector, we owe our frontline workers our thanks and our support. This proposal not only addresses the financial needs of these essential workers, it also presses for additional protective gear and other measures that will help ensure they can continue to perform their critical roles while protecting their health and safety.”
A summary of Peters’ Coronavirus “Heroes Fund” proposal can be found here.