Los Angeles County, Calif. – Election night ballot returns show Inglewood’s Yes on Measure HC leading 53.65% to 46.35%, indicating that Inglewood voters support passing fair wages for healthcare workers in the city.
Ballot returns show No leading Yes on Duarte Measure J by 63.25% to 36.75%, showing that the Fair Wages for Duarte Healthcare Workers measure will not pass.
Inglewood Measure HC and Duarte Measure J, which would raise wages to $25 for essential healthcare workers at private facilities in each city, were sponsored by SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West. The new minimum wage would cover all private-sector healthcare workers who work in hospitals, integrated health systems, and dialysis clinics.
“We’re thrilled that Inglewood voters recognize and value the sacrifices made by essential healthcare workers. After the extreme risks of working in a hospital for the past few years, many people don’t want to stay, especially if they can earn the same somewhere else,” said Martha Alvarez a Certified Nursing Assisstant at Centinela Hospital. “Working in healthcare is physically and emotionally demanding, and patients’ lives are in our hands. Raising wages is not only fair, but it will help attract more workers to Inglewood and help patients get the care they need.”
Even before the pandemic, California faced a shortage of 500,000 healthcare workers. 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.
“As healthcare workers leave the industry in droves due to the trauma of the pandemic and record inflation, it’s disgraceful that wealthy hospital executives spent over a million dollars on a deceptive campaign to mislead voters in Duarte,” said Dave Regan, President of SEIU-UHW. “Rather than working to solve the short-staffing crisis in our hospitals, greedy CEOs who reaped record profits during the pandemic spent millions to pad their salaries and avoid paying the lowest-paid frontline healthcare workers a fair wage.”
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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.