Workers at private hospitals and dialysis clinics in Inglewood are poised for a pay rise, with a move to raise their minimum wage to $25 an hour pending as the election count continues this week.
The wage measure was backed by the healthcare workers’ union, Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West, which has argued wage increases are crucial to retaining workers who have felt marginalized during the COVID-19 pandemic. The union has hoped that local action in Los Angeles County towns like Inglewood could pave the way for a statewide wage increase.
“We are thrilled that Inglewood voters recognize and appreciate the sacrifices made by key health care workers,” Certified Nursing Assistant Martha Alvarez said in a statement released Tuesday by SEIU-UHW. “Not only is the increase in wages fair, it will help attract more workers to Inglewood and help patients get the care they need.”
The Inglewood measure, Measure HC, had received more than 53% of the vote at the last count. However, in Duarte, a similar measure backed by SEIU-UHW stalled, with 63% of the results tallied Tuesday afternoon voting no on Measure J.
Hospital groups and other opponents argued that the proposed increases would unfairly single out some facilities and not others, leading to inequities in the labor market. They also warned that rapidly rising wages could put some hospitals at risk. After local officials voted for similar hikes in Los Angeles, Downey and Long Beach, opponents including the California Assn. from hospitals and health systems collected signatures to force the measures to be put to a vote instead, and are putting them on hold until voters can decide.
“Voters recognized the serious flaws in each of these measures, with voters in Duarte appearing to overwhelmingly oppose Measure J, while voters in Inglewood currently narrowly support Measure HC despite being one of the most progressive cities in the state,” he said George W Greene, President of the Hospital Assn. from Southern California, said in a statement.
Greene said his group supports continued talks about workers’ compensation at the state or local level, but “deeply flawed regulations being looked at city by city are bad policy and the wrong approach.”
SEIU-UHW instead pointed to the spending of their opponents, who, according to campaign records, had raised more than $1.2 million for their campaign to fight the Duarte measure by early November. The union has raised approximately $600,000 to support the Duarte measure.
Inglewood and Duarte’s electoral measures aimed to cover a range of employees, including security guards, clerks, nursing assistants, aides, housekeepers, groundskeepers and others working in privately run hospitals. psychiatric institutions, dialysis centers and clinics belonging to private hospitals.
SEIU-UHW had estimated that the two measures would affect nearly 700 of its members, as well as an unknown number of non-union workers. The Duarte measure would include workers at the City of Hope Cancer Treatment Center; The Inglewood measure affects those at Centinela Hospital Medical Center and seven dialysis clinics, according to SEIU-UHW.
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-11-15/wage-boosts-for-private-hospital-workers-in-duarte-inglewood-election-returns Wage boost for Inglewood hospital workers expected to pass