You’re likely aware that the SEIU-UHW union has filed nine risky and inequitable ballot initiatives in nine Southern California cities, aimed for the November 2022 ballot. The cities are Los Angeles, Downey, Inglewood, Long Beach, Monterey Park, Culver City, Baldwin Park, Duarte and Lynwood. The measures would set new, arbitrary pay requirements for some health care workers in some health care facilities in those cities while excluding the vast majority of other health care workers doing the same jobs. We all agree that health care workers are heroes — but these unequal pay measures are inequitable for workers, harmful and costly for patients, and risky for our communities.
This past Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council hastily adopted this inequitable measure. Our broad coalition of supporters urged the council to allow the public to weigh in by submitting the measure to the November ballot. Our coalition submitted letters, talked with council and staff, provided testimony, and ran a high profile digital and print advertising campaign urging the council to let the voters decide. However, with a 10-2 vote, the council opted to bypass voters and deny them that opportunity. We’re disappointed that the council immediately passed the ordinance without fully comprehending its ramifications and without conducting an economic analysis of its impact. This agenda item will return to the council next week for a second vote and could be enacted as soon as August.
While this is an unfortunate setback, it’s imperative that we maintain momentum and remain engaged and vigilant. Our fight is far from over. It’s also important that member hospitals who are not directly impacted by these measures continue to stand with us, as these initiatives could have far-reaching consequences for the broader health care community.
On behalf of the entire campaign team, thank you to those who wrote letters, provided public comment and joined our coalition to oppose this critical matter. We’ll continue to need your engagement in coming days and weeks.
Take care and stay safe.