Heroes Act protects workers’ health
The May 9 editorial (“Get bills right the first time”) decries the Heroes Act, protecting workers hit hardest by the pandemic in nursing homes, warehouses, meat processing plants, etc
New York state nursing homes had over 30% of the deaths and 37,500 staff (25%) were infected.
State and federal governments do not track worker infections or investigate workplace outbreaks.
Public health has been severely cut (10% since 2008) due to anti governmental, anti-regulatory bias. Cuts resulted in a lack of preparedness, protective equipment, non-existent emergency plans.
The editorial board refers to “onerous requirements for safety and health practices” and states that New York businesses are already “overburdened with state and federal health and safety regulations.”
In fact, the federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration has no airborne infectious disease standard. California is the only state that does.
Only 16 states in the country require worker training to prevent exposure to SARS CoV-2 and only a handful have passed worker protection requirements.
This has led to preventable infection, and death especially among essential workers. The CDC recently acknowledged that the virus is spread via inhalation and yet most of the workplaces covered by the Heroes legislation do not have worker protection plans and continue practices that allow for inhalation of contaminated air.
Low wage and minorities workers have been most affected.
The Daily Gazette should advocate for the well-being of workers and their families who need protection from exposure to a potentially lethal infectious disease instead of propagating anti worker, antigovernment, anti-regulatory myths.
Rose has unique insight for Sch’dy
After this difficult year, we should all agree that the Schenectady Board of Education is in need of new faces.
While Jamaica Miles and Erica Brockmyer would both be strong additions, Sam Rose is clearly the ideal candidate for those who want to see the district become more transparent and respectful of its students, parents and workers.
In his own words, Rose sees the Board of Education as the democratically elected check to ensure the voice of the people. As such, you can rely on him to hold the district accountable to the community.
Rose is a lifelong resident who currently works at the New York State Education Department.
This gives him a unique insight into the specific challenges facing any school board member. In addition, over the last year, Rose has not only developed a deep understanding of the specific issues that face the Schenectady School District, he has shown a genuine concern that these issues exist. Rose’s plan to solve these problems includes increased community and staff engagement as a means to finally rebuilding trust, a needed step to improving the overall quality of education for all of Schenectady’s students.
Commenters to online letters who fail to follow rules against name-calling, profanity, threats, libel or other inappropriate language will have their comments removed and their commenting privileges withdrawn.
To report inappropriate online comments, email Editorial Page Editor Mark Mahoney at [email protected]