Healthcare workers have been on the frontlines from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, putting ourselves and our families at risk in order to care for millions of patients. We deserve recognition for our efforts and sacrifices.
Why Recognition and Retention Bonuses
Dangerous working conditions. Not enough masks for all staff. Being asked to reuse masks or other PPE. Long shifts with few breaks. We’ve been through it all, and we know that we are at risk every time we go to work. But we have never stopped working for the patients who need us.
Mental health trauma. Let’s be blunt: we’ve never been through anything like this in our careers in healthcare. We try not to get emotional because we need to be strong to do our jobs, but we have seen more of our patients die than ever before — and that takes a mental toll on all of us.
Keeping healthcare workers in our jobs is critical for California. We know our state is facing future shortages of healthcare workers. The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to make those shortages dramatically worse. We need to support and sustain our current workers to ensure all Californians get the care they need.
Why Healthcare Companies Should Pay
Despite early concerns, California healthcare companies are doing quite well financially. In 2020, Kaiser Permanente made $6.4 billion in profits, HCA made $3.7 billion, and dialysis clinic operator Fresenius made $2.5 billion. Our employers call us “heroes” but tell us they can’t do more to help us. It’s time to demand the recognition and support we deserve.
Support the Healthcare Worker Recognition and Retention Act
AB 650 requires healthcare employers with more than 100 employees to pay bonuses to all non-executive employees who work during the pandemic. The bonuses would be paid in 2022 after the law goes into effect.