FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 15, 2023
CALIFORNIA— Today, the California legislature passed a bill that will give over 400,000 healthcare workers a fair wage. The bill establishes the first statewide healthcare-specific minimum wage and the first $25 per hour minimum wage in the country. Staff in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, dialysis clinics, and community clinics will receive the pay increase.
SB 525 is an important step in fixing California’s healthcare worker staffing crisis. According to a 2022 survey of healthcare workers, 83% say their department is understaffed. Raising the minimum wage for healthcare workers will help hospital systems attract and retain staff and improve patient care.
“Many of my co-workers are struggling to make ends meet and are leaving for jobs that offer higher pay with fewer health risks. I have personally seen how short staffing hurts patient care,” said Jimmie Morris, a respiratory therapist in Manteca. “A $25 minimum wage will keep healthcare workers in their jobs, help recruit new ones to our healthcare system, and improve the quality of care our patients receive.”
The bill covers all healthcare workers who provide services that directly or indirectly support patient care. This includes clinicians, nurses, certified nursing assistants, aides, technicians, maintenance workers, janitorial or housekeeping staff, groundskeepers, guards, food service workers, laundry workers, and pharmacists, but does not include managers or supervisors.
There four groupings of healthcare facilities, each with their own timeline to reaching the $25 minimum wage:
Union healthcare workers have successfully led efforts to pass a healthcare minimum wage in five California cities in the past year. They then took their campaign statewide and called on the state legislature to pass SB 525 to set a minimum wage for healthcare workers across the state.