FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 9, 2022
LOS ANGELES – Hundreds of healthcare workers and allies marched and held a rally in front of the Hospital Association of Southern California to protest its campaign to take away fair wages from healthcare workers. Participants also called on lawmakers to enact fair wages for healthcare workers statewide.
“Working in healthcare is physically, mentally, and emotionally demanding. I’ve seen many people come and go because of the low wages, high stress, and health risks. One of my co-workers who started during the pandemic recently quit and left the medical field because of the mental strain and long hours,” said Selene Castillo, a certified nursing assistant at Dignity St. Mary’s Medical Center in Long Beach. “We do this job, risking our own health and safety because we truly care about helping people. We deserve to make a fair living wage.”
Widespread support and momentum for a healthcare worker minimum wage are growing after four city councils in Southern California — Los Angeles, Downey, Monterey Park, and Long Beach — have passed ordinances to set a $25 healthcare worker minimum wage in their city.
“Hospital corporations have experienced record pandemic windfalls, yet they have no plan to address the staffing crisis plaguing hospitals across the state,” said Dave Regan, president of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West. “Healthcare executives are making millions, yet they refuse to pay a large portion of their healthcare workers a living wage — and they are working aggressively to take away the minimum wage in Los Angeles and other cities. If hospitals can afford to pay their executives millions, they can afford to pay frontline healthcare workers $25 an hour.”
A recent survey of over 30,000 SEIU-UHW members, Crisis in Care, highlighted the short-staffing crisis in California, with 83% of responding healthcare workers saying their facility is understaffed, and up to 20% that they have considered leaving the field in the past year.
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Media Contact: Renée Saldaña – [email protected]
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.