After three years of the COVID-19 pandemic, there simply aren’t enough healthcare workers to safely and properly care for patients. Even before the pandemic, we faced a healthcare worker shortage; now, it is becoming a full-blown crisis that threatens all aspects of patient care. Many of our co-workers have left and more are considering leaving as we continue to endure the emotional toll of the pandemic and a sense that our safety is not protected at work. At the same time, after everything we’ve been through, and as inflation squeezes our families, it is demoralizing to see retail, hospitality, and other sectors raising pay rates much faster than what we’re seeing in our hospitals and facilities.

We came to this work to be part of healing our patients and our communities. And now, we are calling on you to join us and use our upcoming contract negotiations as an opportunity to heal our industry by ending the staffing crisis. It is time to:

  • Raise healthcare worker pay to keep up with the cost of living, so we recruit and retain the workforce patients deserve;
  • Establish a $25/hr minimum wage for all healthcare workers so that institutions of healing lift people out of poverty, not keep them in it;
  • Fix broken hiring processes and eliminate hurdles preventing full staffing so we can get more workers caring for and supporting patients;
  • Make a massive investment in the education and training of future healthcare workers.

Let’s come together as problem solvers with real solutions for stabilizing our workforce. Our patients are depending on us.

I understand this open letter may be shared publicly as part of our campaign to win the exceptional contracts we deserve.