Statement from SEIU-UHW on Governor Newsom’s Proposed Inflation Relief Package

Statement from SEIU-UHW on Governor Newsom’s Proposed Inflation Relief Package

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 

May 12, 2022

In response to Governor Newsom’s proposal for a stabilization incentive pay for healthcare workers who were on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic, SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West President Dave Regan made the following statement:

“As healthcare workers who have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic for the past two years, SEIU-UHW members appreciate Governor Newsom for listening to and supporting them throughout this crisis.

“For years, SEIU-UHW members have raised concerns about California’s healthcare staffing shortage. The staffing crisis has only worsened as workers have left the industry in droves during the pandemic because of increased health risks, emotional and mental stress, and overwork. The proposed inflation relief package, which includes pay for healthcare workers, marks an important step that would recognize their sacrifices on the frontlines of the pandemic and help retain skilled and experienced caregivers.

“With this investment in keeping skilled healthcare workers on the job, the Governor’s proposal moves us one step closer to a future where every Californian has access to care provided by valued and respected caregivers. We urge legislators to swiftly adopt the Governor’s proposal and pass it into their budget bill.”

Since before 2020, SEIU-UHW members have raised concerns about chronic short-staffing in California’s healthcare industry which has only worsened as workers have left over the past two years because of increased health risks and emotional and mental stress, and overwork. In fact, 83% of the 33,000 SEIU-UHW healthcare workers surveyed this March said their departments are understaffed, and 74% said they lack proper time to care for patients.

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Media Contact: Renée Saldaña mediarelations@seiu-uhw.org