FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 3, 2021
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A delegation of healthcare workers delivered more than 22,500 signed postcards to the offices of Governor Gavin Newsom, Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, calling on the state to provide bonuses to essential workers to recognize the sacrifices they have made during this COVID-19 pandemic.
A coalition of frontline workers across California is requesting that the state fund a one-time Pandemic Recognition Bonus for essential workers. The bonus would acknowledge the efforts essential workers have made across various industries, including healthcare, grocery stores, warehouses, fast food restaurants, janitors, and transportation.
“We’ve never been through anything like this in our careers in healthcare,” said Kimberly Samuel, a medical assistant at Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento. “We have seen more of our patients die than ever before, we have worried about our own health and the health of our families — and that takes a serious toll on all of us. But we never stopped working for the patients who need us. We deserve recognition for our efforts and sacrifices during this ongoing crisis.”
California’s hospital workers have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic from the start, caring for millions of patients statewide. The strain of responding to a massive public health crisis has led to an increase of stress and burnout throughout the industry. The state is already facing shortages of healthcare workers and the pandemic threatens to make those shortages dramatically worse.
On August 25th, dozens of state legislators signed a letter urging Pro Tem Atkins and Speaker Rendon to provide recognition bonuses to essential workers, pointing out that similar programs have already been instituted in other states such as Louisiana and Kansas.
CONTACT: Renée Saldaña; [email protected]
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SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) is a healthcare justice union of more than 100,000 healthcare workers, patients, and healthcare activists united to ensure affordable, accessible, high-quality care for all Californians, provided by valued and respected healthcare workers. Learn more at www.seiu-uhw.org.