MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — At the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul Friday, home health care workers and their clients rallied. They provide essential care for elderly and people with disabilities.

They say the risks of working during a pandemic point out the need for a pay raise, as well as PPE and supplies to stay safe.

“We have people with disabilities, people with who have strokes, people have CP, you name it. Anybody can become disabled any day of their life. And not until that point will you realize how essential we are,” family care worker Shari Lackey said. “We have gone to them and told them how difficult this work is and how it is even more difficult during this pandemic. They have had multiple legislative sessions since this pandemic began, and every time the message we’ve gotten in the end is that we and the people we care for are not important.”

Lackey has been a caregiver for the same family for 22 years.

The union says some home health care workers currently make as little as $13.25 an hour. They say there’s been no action from elected leaders to help them out.

The workers want the legislature to do something during the special session called by Gov. Tim Walz on Monday.