Pandemic Pay Premium For Michigan's Essential Workers Is Proposed By US Senator Gary Peters

Apr 9, 2020

U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-Michigan)
Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Calling it the "COVID-19 Hero's Fund,” Michigan U.S. Senator Gary Peters is trying to get a boost in pay for essential workers on the front lines across the state during the current health pandemic.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talked with one of Michigan's U.S. senators about the idea.


Peters Announces Coronavirus “Heroes Fund” Proposal, Calls for $25,000 Pay Increase for Essential Workers on Frontlines of Pandemic Response

DETROIT, MI – U.S. Senator Gary Peters, Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, today announced a proposal for the “COVID-19 Heroes Fund,” to provide pandemic premium pay to reward, retain and recruit essential workers.  Peters’ proposal consists of two major components: a $25,000 premium pay increase for essential healthcare workers, which would equate to a raise of $13 per hour from the start of the public health emergency until December 31, 2020 and a $15,000 essential worker recruitment incentive to attract and secure the workforce needed in Michigan and across the country to fight this public health crisis.  The “Heroes Fund” would fully federally-fund the premium pay and recruitment and retention incentive to help support frontline workers, including health care professionals, workers at grocery stores, home care workers, first responders, pharmacists, postal workers and other essential workers.

“So many people are working hard and performing essential duties to help our communities confront this pandemic, and they deserve to be compensated for their dedication,” said Senator Peters.  “Whether it’s health care providers and food supply workers in the private sector, or postal workers and security professionals in the public sector, we owe our frontline workers our thanks and our support.  This proposal not only addresses the financial needs of these essential workers, it also presses for additional protective gear and other measures that will help ensure they can continue to perform their critical roles while protecting their health and safety.”

A summary of Peters’ Coronavirus “Heroes Fund” proposal can be found here.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu