San Diego County healthcare workers rally for $25/hour minimum wage

Healthcare workers are finding their paychecks can no longer pay for living expenses in San Diego County

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Healthcare workers held a rally near Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa on Friday to advocate for higher pay.

They voiced support for California Senate Bill 525 which aims to increase minimum wage for healthcare workers to $21/hour in 2024 and $25/hour in 2025.

“This is really important to be out here today because of the lack of fair wages and crisis of staffing inside the hospital,” healthcare worker Fatima Ghoulam said.

Local lawmakers are cautiously optimistic that the bill will pass.

“How optimistic am I? I’m cautiously optimistic but I think if we can get to the table to discuss how we can help the situation, that’s a start,” La Mesa City Councilmember Patricia Dillard said.

If passed, it will impact the pay of many hospital staff members.

“First, It will change my life drastically that I’d be actually able to afford a living situation. For example, I live in a one-bedroom apartment right now and it’s sad for me to say but the one bedroom I got, it’s for my daughters and I basically don’t have a place to sleep so I sleep on the couch,” Ghoulam said.

If the bill becomes law approximately 500,000 hospital employees will see a raise, according to a UC Berkeley study published in April.

Among the arguments against the bill are people and groups that say it will add to the financial burden of hospitals that are already under financial strain.

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