NUHW’s COVID-19 Healthcare Workers Bill of Rights

April 20th, 2020

Dear NUHW Member:

The COVID-19 outbreak has jeopardized the health and financial security of many NUHW members — and healthcare workers across the country. To identify and advocate for policies that will protect all healthcare workers, we have produced a 10-point COVID-19 Healthcare Workers Bill of Rights.

This one-page document boils down what must be done immediately to keep healthcare workers safe so they can care for patients and continue providing for their families. Our demands include PPE, universal COVID-19 testing, the ability for certain workers to do their jobs from home, and the right for everybody to have sufficient time to care for their families.

Our Bill of Rights is the distillation of a more comprehensive policy document that outlines the minimum precautions and protocols that we believe must be put in place to keep healthcare workers safe. Both documents have been developed over the past several weeks based on guidance from public health officials, research into best practices at healthcare facilities, and conversations with NUHW members.

We are presenting this policy document to our employers and to elected officials as part of a concerted effort to put all of these policies into practice. We will also send employers and share with our members an additional document focused more directly on the critical economic issues that must be addressed in response to the pandemic.

It’s clear that our current healthcare system has failed us during the COVID-19 crisis, and there is much work to do in order to build a sustainable, high-functioning health care system that prioritizes patient care and protects healthcare workers. As a union, all of us have a vital role to play in shaping the future of healthcare, starting with using our collective power to advocate for our own safety, so that patients can get the care they need.

Please read our Bill of Rights and our policy document and keep letting us know about COVID-19 issues you are facing in your workplaces, either by contacting your steward or organizer — or by emailing us at COVID19@nuhw.org.

In Unity,
Sal Rosselli, President, National Union of Healthcare Workers
Sophia Mendoza, Secretary-TreasurerNational Union of Healthcare Workers