D023 (Support for Care Workers)

House of Bishops Message #334

The House of Bishops informs the House of Deputies that on Jul 10, 2022 it considered resolution D023 (Support for Care Workers). The house acted to:


Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring,

That this 80th General Convention acknowledge the tremendous toll that the global COVID pandemic has had on caregivers of all kinds, including unpaid family members and paid caregivers who provide childcare, support for people with disabilities, and elder care, recognizing that this global crisis has revealed both the fragility of our systems of caregiving and also the degree to which our society as a whole relies upon caregiving in order to function at all; and be it further

Resolved, that this Convention acknowledge that care work is undervalued and undercompensated, and is disproportionately carried out by women, especially working-class women, women of color, and immigrant women; and be it further

Resolved, that this Convention acknowledge that care work is the labor necessary to sustain and nurture human life, and is embedded in our scriptural call to love our neighbor and to care for the widow, the orphan, and the stranger, as well as in our baptismal promise to respect the dignity of every human being; and as such, care work deserves to be recognized, valued, and supported by this Church; and be it further

Resolved, that this Convention support public policies at the local, state, and national levels in all our countries to support caregiving labor, including policies to:

  • Raise minimum wage standards to levels that can support a family;
  • Provide universal access to health care, so that caregivers, both paid and unpaid, are not reliant on their employment or on family members for health insurance;
  • Extend Social Security retirement credit to unpaid family caregivers;
  • Establish and provide funding for paid sick leave, parental leave, and family leave for all workers, as well as paid vacation;
  • Provide exemptions for income earned for care work for family members when calculating public benefit eligibility;
  • Raise and enforce labor standards for all paid care workers, including the right to paid sick and family leave; meal and rest breaks; good health and safety conditions and equipment; reasonable working hours, scheduling, and overtime pay; protection from workplace harassment; and written agreements with employers;
  • Increase public investment in paid care work to support training, career ladders, safety standards, reduction of turnover, living wage standards, and ultimately, a higher quality of care;
  • Support the right of care workers to organize in unions to have a voice in their working conditions and collective bargaining, and to seek innovative solutions to the problem of organizing worker voice in an industry with multiple employers;
  • Seek innovative ways to provide benefits to care workers across many employers, such as pooled, publicly administered paid sick leave and retirement funds for care workers;
  • Increase public investment in long-term care insurance plans to fill the gaps not covered by Medicare and Medicaid to provide care in aging;
  • Support, to the extent possible, independent living and maximum agency in decision-making for people with disabilities and elders, and increase Social Security disability benefits and long-term care benefits to a sustainable level to hire caregivers, while also maintaining and enforcing high labor standards for care workers;
  • Include the voices of care workers and people receiving care in public policy making, and set up systems to ensure that public investments reach the care workers themselves rather than intermediary employers, and to ensure the public monies support improved quality of care.