Home Health care provider Petition filed against LA City minimum wage hike for healthcare workers

Petition filed against LA City minimum wage hike for healthcare workers

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LOS ANGELES — A recently approved ordinance raising the minimum wage for some city health care workers to $25 an hour was temporarily suspended from taking effect Aug. 11 by the city clerk’s office after filing of a referendum petition challenging the ordinance.

Mayor Eric Garcetti signed the ordinance in July after it was passed by city council.

The ordinance will be put on hold while the city clerk’s office determines whether the petition, filed Aug. 10, contains a sufficient number of valid signatures — at least 40,717. If that’s enough, the matter would come before voters in 2024. .

The order only applies to private facilities, including hospitals, clinics, skilled nursing facilities or residential care facilities. It applies to workers, including clinicians, orderlies, orderlies, technicians, maintenance workers, janitors, housekeepers, office workers and administrative workers.

The group No to Los Angeles’ Unequal Compensation Measure argues that the city ordinance excludes workers from more than 90% of the city’s health care facilities, calling the measure “unfair and discriminatory.” The group is seeking to force a referendum that would put the issue to the voters.

The order “only requires wage increases for certain workers at certain facilities, while completely excluding workers doing the exact same work at other providers,” according to George W. Greene, president and CEO of the Hospital. Association of Southern California, which supports the effort.

“We all agree that healthcare workers deserve support and recognition for the heroic work they do and hospitals go to great lengths to reward and appreciate workers. We support new conversations about fair and equitable compensation, but the deeply flawed nature of this order means that, at a minimum, voters should have the final say,” he said.

“No to Los Angeles’ Unequal Compensation Measure” is funded primarily by the California Association of Hospitals and Health Systems.

“The past few years have had an unimaginable impact on our healthcare workers, often putting themselves in harm’s way to care for the sick and their families,” Garcetti said in a statement announcing the signing of the order. “It’s time we put them first. Our healthcare heroes deserve fair compensation for their essential work, countless sacrifices, and incredible service to our city and its people.

The ordinance increased the minimum wage for workers, adjusting it each year to reflect increases in the cost of living, and prohibited employers from financing the minimum wage increase by laying off workers or reducing benefits or hours.

The measure was presented to City Council through a petition-initiated campaign organized by the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW). The board had the option of putting the issue on the ballot or passing the minimum wage hike outright. He opted to pass the measure without a public vote.

Renée Saldaña, spokesperson for the union, responded to the proposed referendum on the measure with a statement saying: “Greedy hospital leaders have seen record pandemic windfalls, but they have no plan to solve the staffing crisis that is rages in hospitals in Los Angeles. They are out of step with local voters if they think the solution is to cut the salaries of the caregivers who have gotten us through the pandemic. The problem that needs to be addressed is excessive executive compensation that is driving up health care costs for Angelenos. »

According to the union, a recent survey of its members revealed concerns about understaffing in healthcare facilities, and 20% said they had considered leaving the field in the past year.

The group calling for the wage hike referendum in Los Angeles is also challenging similar moves in cities like Anaheim, Downey, Long Beach, Inglewood, Culver City and Monterey Park.

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