FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 3, 2022
LONG BEACH, Calif. – The Long Beach City Council has voted 9-0 in favor of a $25 minimum wage for healthcare workers in the city. The new minimum wage would cover all private sector healthcare workers in hospitals, integrated health systems, and dialysis clinics in Long Beach.
Long Beach is the fourth city in Southern California to pass a fair wage ordinance for healthcare workers after Los Angeles, Downey, and Monterey Park.
“With this vote, the Long Beach City Council is recognizing and honoring the contributions and sacrifices made daily by frontline healthcare workers,” said Dave Regan, president of SEIU- United Healthcare Workers West. “We commend the Long Beach City Council for ensuring healthcare workers earn a fair wage that reflects their life-saving work and for taking steps to confront the staffing crisis in California’s healthcare system.”
The Council’s vote comes after SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, a union of healthcare workers, collected the required amount of signatures to put the minimum wage increase on the November ballot.
“Because of the demanding work, low wages, and high stress, I’ve seen many people come and go. A co-worker who started during the pandemic recently quit and left the industry because of the mental strain and long hours,” said Selene Castillo, a certified nursing assistant at Dignity St. Mary Hospital in Long Beach. “A fair wage will keep more Long Beach healthcare workers in their jobs and help attract more people to the medical field, relieving us of the dangers and frustration of understaffing.”
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% have considered leaving the field in the past year. At the same time, healthcare corporations are reporting record profits.
Media Contact: Renée Saldaña – email@example.com
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.