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HomeUSA NewsVoters more likely to determine destiny of hospital employees' wage hike

Voters more likely to determine destiny of hospital employees’ wage hike


Hospital teams and different opponents of a Los Angeles metropolis measure that reinforces the minimal wage for hundreds of employees at privately owned well being amenities have succeeded in gathering sufficient signatures to power the Metropolis Council to both repeal it or put the problem on the poll, L.A. metropolis officers have concluded.

Los Angeles leaders voted earlier this yr to hike the minimal wage to $25 an hour for sure employees at privately owned hospitals, dialysis clinics and a variety of different well being amenities affiliated with non-public hospitals, backing an effort championed by the healthcare employees union SEIU-UHW. Labor leaders and metropolis officers argued it could assist hospitals retain employees who’ve felt devalued throughout the pandemic.

Hospital teams argued that the wage measure would wreak havoc on the business and in the end harm sufferers.

They launched a marketing campaign to halt the poll measure and put it up for a vote by means of a referendum; hospital teams additionally sued the town over the wage ordinance, arguing that it was arbitrary and unfair as a result of just some sorts of amenities had been singled out for larger wages.

To place the wage measure on the poll, the hospital coalition wanted to collect 40,717 legitimate signatures from registered voters within the metropolis. The No on the Los Angeles Unequal Pay Measure Marketing campaign, a gaggle sponsored by the California Assn. of Hospitals and Well being Programs, mentioned it had turned in additional than 88,000 signatures to the L.A. metropolis clerk.

The L.A. metropolis clerk confirmed Wednesday that the referendum effort had succeeded in assembly metropolis necessities, primarily based on an preliminary depend and a random sampling of signatures to confirm their validity.

Beneath metropolis guidelines, the clerk will present a “certification of sufficiency” to the Metropolis Council, which then has 20 days to repeal the ordinance, name a particular election for voters to determine its destiny, or submit it to be voted on at a often scheduled metropolis election. If the council opts for an election, the L.A. ordinance will stay on maintain till voters determine its destiny.

Opponents of the wage measure welcomed the information, saying that voters would doubtless weigh in in 2024.

“Los Angeles voters have made it clear that they need the precise to vote on the unfair and unequal pay ordinance that excludes employees at 90% of well being care amenities throughout the town,” George W. Greene, president and CEO of the Hospital Assn. of Southern California, mentioned in an announcement.

SEIU-UHW spokesperson Renée Saldaña mentioned in an announcement that “as healthcare employees depart the business in droves because of the trauma of the pandemic and document inflation, it’s outrageous that millionaire hospital executives try to chop wages for his or her lowest-paid staff.”

“We’re assured that voters will stand with frontline caregivers over grasping CEOs and we sit up for seeing related measures handed in cities all through California,” Saldaña mentioned.

The union has additionally alleged that signature gatherers for the referendum marketing campaign misled Angelenos to get signatures, telling folks that their signatures had been wanted “to pay employees extra” and “to boost the healthcare employees’ wages,” in response to incident experiences gathered by SEIU-UHW.

The labor group mentioned it had turned in additional than 1,000 kinds from folks searching for to withdraw their signatures after studying extra in regards to the referendum.

In response to these complaints, opponents of the wage measure mentioned that their petition and messaging had been clear — that “the ordinance is unhealthy coverage that’s inequitable and unfair for employees.”

The L.A. measure doesn’t cowl public hospitals and a variety of clinics that aren’t affiliated with privately owned hospitals. Union officers, requested about its restricted scope, mentioned that the town couldn’t legally set wages for county and state staff and added that they’d pursued a state measure to bolster wages to not less than $25 hourly at neighborhood clinics.

SEIU-UHW has additionally been pushing to spice up wages for employees at non-public hospitals in different cities throughout L.A. County. Related wage measures for healthcare employees additionally handed in Lengthy Seaside and Downey; in Duarte and Inglewood, such proposals are headed to the poll for voters to determine in November.

Council members in Monterey Park additionally voted in favor of a $25 hourly wage, however the resolution confronted a courtroom problem and a decide dominated that it couldn’t be enforced, though the matter might nonetheless head to the poll.

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