On Monday, President Biden signed an executive order creating a new White House task force led by Vice President Harris focused on promoting labor unions. The executive order directs the new task force to make recommendations within 180 days on how already existing federal policies and programs can be used to help workers organize and collectively bargain in the public and private sectors. The task force will also make recommendations on potential new policies and regulatory changes. The new HCAOA Policy and Regulatory Committee is currently working on position papers regarding a variety of issues, including information about labor unions’ impacts on HCAOA member agencies.
One of the main goals of the labor union task force will be to support the use of labor unions in areas with restrictive labor laws and to empower female workers and people of color. The task force also aims to increase union membership across the country, including by promoting worker organizing and collective bargaining within the federal government.
HCAOA Board Member, Kunu Kaushal, commented: "I applaud this administration for their interest to improve the professional and personal lives of workers across the country. Historically, the healthcare community, specifically home care, has closely worked with its workforce to balance business needs with our workforce. As an owner of an independent agency with 800+ staff, we advocate daily for both our workforce and our clients. Having a union or other representative between ourselves and our workforce is not only counter productive but also diminishes the close relationship homecare prides itself on. The fact is, we need reform in many areas which ultimately result in pay, benefits, and working conditions. Most of these reforms will come from payors like the medicaid program, VA programs, and other payor groups which control a significant level of reimbursement sources for home care agencies. The home care workforce already has their own agency in their corner. I stand behind our 800+ caregivers and put their interests at the forefront, we acknowledge that they are the life-blood of our organization. I'm confident that instead of a labor union, we need to focus on workforce incentives and programs."