WASHINGTON – On Thursday, April 9, public service workers on the front lines of responding to the nation’s growing economic crisis will provide a first-hand account of the historic volumes of Unemployment Insurance claims they are processing.
The skyrocketing claims due to COVID-19 have exposed how years of short-sighted budget and staffing cuts to public services is now hurting out-of-work Americans in desperate need of economic relief.
To respond to the loss of over 10 million jobs in the last two weeks alone, public service workers are putting in longer hours, including on weekends. Other department employees are stepping in as well to help.
Since many states lack the technological infrastructure to telework, a large proportion of these workers are also risking their health and safety to go into the office every day.
AFSCME President Lee Saunders and SEIU President Mary Kay Henry will join Thursday’s call to urge Congress to reverse course from years of dangerous austerity cuts and provide adequate funding in a fourth stimulus package for states and localities to continue to provide essential services.
Economic Policy Institute President Thea Lee will provide a timely analysis on the economic impact of state and local budgets amid the public health crisis and outline steps to shore up state and local finances.