PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Friday was the last day of a 48-hour fast in Bloomfield that a group of caregivers took part in.
They believe lawmakers who call them health care heroes need to put their money where their mouth is and increase the minimum wage.READ MORE: Allegheny County Police Investigating Shots Fired In North Versailles
“We’re health care heroes and it’s time we’re respected, protected and paid what we deserve,” said caregiver Kearni Warren.
Their message was loud and clear. The fast came As Congress debates the American Rescue Plan Act, which could raise the federal minimum wage to $15.
“We want to shine a light on them, make them put their foot to the fire and do what they say,” said caregiver Francis Adams. “It becomes really frustrating when we back politicians that don’t back us.”READ MORE: Fatal Police Shooting In Ohio Hospital Caught On Officer Body Camera
The pandemic has created many at-home family caregivers who now understand what it’s like. The ones who do it as a profession make about $12 an hour on average in Pennsylvania. Warren said that isn’t a liveable wage and why they turned to drastic measures.
“Am I going to buy groceries or am I going to pay a bill? Am I going to eat today or am I going without food?” said Warren.”These are the tough decisions caregivers are making behind the scenes.”
She believes everybody deserves the right to a livable wage. This group hopes what they’re doing will pave a better path for future caregivers.
The group says this isn’t the end of their activism, it’s only the beginning. During the fast, they met with local lawmakers to discuss what could be done in and around the Pittsburgh area.MORE NEWS: West Virginia's Offer Of Cash And Free Recreational Destination Passes Receives Huge Response
They hope this call-to-action will spark conversations about paying people what they’re worth.