Home BUSINESS Assembly bill proposes cash bonuses to help retain burned-out health care workers

Assembly bill proposes cash bonuses to help retain burned-out health care workers


247 News Around The World
247 News Around The World

Nearly 100,000 California health care employees of large companies could receive as much as $10,000 in coronavirus bonuses next year under proposed legislation that Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, D-Torrance, unveiled Tuesday, March 9, during a Zoom press conference.

The estimated cost of the proposed legislation, dubbed the Health Care Worker Recognition and Retention Act, is about $6 billion, said Dave Regan, president of Service Employees International Union United Healthcare Workers West, which represents almost 100,000 workers statewide. Companies with more than 100 employees would pay the bonuses.

“Everyone wants to say thank you to our health care workers,” Muratsuchi said. “This is their opportunity.”

Many large health care providers, Regan said, have continued making billions in profits during the pandemic, in addition to receiving substantial federal government aid. More than 100,000 health care workers have tested positive for COVID-19 and more than 400 have died from coronavirus-related causes.

“This is a workforce that we’ve all counted on and we need,” Regan said. “We feel that there is honestly a debt that all Californians owe to frontline health care workers for the sacrifice and commitment they’ve demonstrated.”

If passed, Assembly Bill 650 would pay non-executive health care workers a bonus of $5 an hour in 2022 in four quarterly payments. That translates to $10,000 for full-time workers, $6,000 for part-time workers and $4,000 for those who work less than that.

The bonuses, Regan said, would not be paid for by taxpayers, but did not address whether the bill would result in higher health care or health insurance costs if companies pass on the expense to consumers.

Health care workers who joined the teleconference said many had discussed quitting during the pandemic, despite their commitment to patient care.

Norma Hernandez, a registered nurse for almost three decades who works in the intensive care unit at St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard, said she and her fellow workers are physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted.

“We are all experiencing pandemic-related burnout,” she said. “This pandemic is killing our souls.

“With each patient that dies we lose a piece of ourselves,” Hernandez added, “we are human and we are hurting.”

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This post first appeared on ocregister.com

The post Assembly bill proposes cash bonuses to help retain burned-out health care workers appeared first on 247 News Around The World.


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