May Day rally held to pay respect to workers, call for change to home aide worker's rights
Home attendants rallied outside of City Hall on Monday, May 1 to support a new bill which would demand an end to 24-hour work days in New York City.
May 1, known as May Day, is a day dedicated to paying respect to workers and upholding laborers’ rights all over the world.
Hundreds of home care aides across the city came together to show their support for ending what they say is standard practice of 24-hour work days in their line of work.
Workers at Monday’s rally say they not only are on the job around the clock but that they only receive 13 hours of compensation. Council member Christopher Marte calls this practice inhumane, and is introducing the No More 23 Act to City Council.
“Only in New York City that this is legal... because according to the Cuomo executive order, it said that if these people are getting five hours of sleep and three hours of meal time, that it's legal for them to do this,” said Marte.
The No More 24 Act, also known as Intro 175, demands that employers no longer schedule home care aides for shifts over 12 hours and that their work week does not exceed 50 hours. Home care attendants and advocates say that they are forced to work these shifts out of fear of retaliation if they say no.
"We'd have time for ourself, we can also provide better service to taking care of the patient so it's good for the patient and good for the healthcare workers,” said Woei Kown Yao, a home care aide for the last seven years.
A Council spokesperson told News 12, "The Speaker supports workers, and the Council is committed to meaningful solutions that advance protections for them. As both Health Committee Chairs of the State Legislature and countless advocates testified when this bill was first introduced, 24-hour home care shifts must be solved at the state level. The state controls Medicaid, and the regulatory and payment structures of homecare flow through State Medicaid, so state legislation is the way to address these problems. It is misleading and counterproductive to frame this issue as one that can be resolved at the city level, and deeply inappropriate to do so by lying about the Speaker's position and encouraging the use of personal attacks and racially problematic language. To actually deliver for home care workers, and the patients they care for, our efforts should be focused at the state level, where these changes can be implemented. It's perplexing why any government official, who knows this reality, would be acting otherwise."
Ralliers are urging Speaker Adrienne Adams to hold a vote on the proposal.