LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles City Council has voted 10-0 in favor of a $25 minimum wage for healthcare workers in the city.
The Council’s vote to pass the ordinance came 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 ballot in the upcoming election in November.
“We applaud the Los Angeles City Council for leading the way toward protecting public health and addressing a staffing shortage that threatens Angelenos’ care,” said Dave Regan, president of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West. “By ensuring healthcare workers earn a fair wage that reflects the vital work they do, Los Angeles can retain and attract the workers needed to ensure the quality of healthcare doesn’t decline in the city.”
Under the ordinance, the minimum wage will be set at $25 per hour. The new minimum wage would cover all private sector healthcare workers who work in hospitals, integrated health systems, and dialysis clinics in the city of Los Angeles. The ordinance heads to Mayor Eric Garcetti’s desk next and will likely go into effect before the end of the year.
“Our work is critical and patients’ lives are in our hands. This is a physically and emotionally draining job,” said Jessica Cruz, a vocational nurse in Los Angeles. “After the extreme risks of working in healthcare during the past few years, rising inflation, and the high cost of living, many people don’t want to stay in healthcare, especially if they can earn the same somewhere else without the risk. A fair wage will help retain healthcare workers and improve patient care.”
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.
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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.