For Immediate Release:
December 15, 2022
PALO ALTO, Calif. – Healthcare workers at Stanford Medical Center and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital are poised to ratify a three-year agreement this week that raises wages by 15% over the next three years, increases the minimum wage at the hospitals to $25 per hour, and implements several improvements to benefits and working conditions. Voting will continue through Friday at the hospital, and the agreement is expected to pass.
Across California and the nation, healthcare workers have been going on strike at unprecedented levels, citing low wages and chronic understaffing while their employers have amassed record pandemic profits. This agreement at Stanford represents a very different approach that recognizes the economic and personal realities of the frontline workers who have been called “healthcare heroes,” during the COVID-19 crisis.
“After nearly three years of this pandemic, we are burnt out and exhausted,” said Linda Cornell, a unit secretary at Stanford Medical Center. “Worse yet, we are always short-staffed because so many caregivers have left healthcare for better-paying, less stressful jobs somewhere else. This contract shows that Stanford really does value our contribution to patient care and recognizes the financial challenges we face living in this expensive area.”
The previous contract, which does not expire until September 2023, raised workers’ wages by 3% in September. The newly ratified agreement gives workers an immediate additional 2% raise and 1% bonus, a 5% raise in September 2023, a 5% raise in September 2024, and a 3% raise in September 2025. Additional changes would allow workers to use PTO for mental health reasons and educational reimbursements to help pay off student loans, among other new benefits.
“A $25/hour minimum wage at Stanford is a great positive step towards addressing the severity of the healthcare worker crisis in California and ensuring there will always be enough quality staff to take care of patients,” said Dave Regan, President of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West. “More hospitals should do the same, instead of continuing to push their burnt-out workforce to do more with less. Other healthcare employers can learn from Stanford’s example and reward the extraordinary contributions of frontline caregivers.”
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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.