El Paso hospital workers demand better wages and benefits

Local

Del Sol Medical Center

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Del Sol and Las Palmas Healthcare Center workers say they are pushing the hospitals to pay at least $15 an hour to the lowest paid employees.

HCA hospital workers at Del Sol said they are in side-step with workers from Las Palmas who walked out of work on last Wednesday.

“Right now at the bargaining table, we are telling the hospital management that if they want to keep good staff on the floors, then they have to respect and value the Hospital workers who make this place run. And, that means paying ‘Hero’ wages and providing better benefits.” Diane Waldo, a radiology tech at Las Palmas, said.

KTSM 9 News reached out to the hospitals for comment. Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare provided a statement.

The union continues to use this pandemic as a selling point to gain more members, and this is not the time to have a public fight over labor negotiations. Instead, we need to work together to put patient health and safety first during pandemic. Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare helps our colleagues learn, grow and enjoy a rewarding career because we believe excellent people make excellence happen. Our annual average wage is competitive and consistent with other facilities in the area. We also support our colleagues and their families by providing a generous and flexible benefit package with benefits specifically designed to support our colleagues’ families and careers, including expanded family leave benefits, tuition reimbursement, student loan assistance, dependent scholarship program and financial wellness coaching. We are thankful for the work of all our healthcare heroes at our hospitals.

Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare

There is a movement throughout the country among hospital workers who are demanding better pay amid the pandemic. They say, “respect us, protect us, pay us.”

The Service Employees International Union says 54 percent of workers they represent at HCA, the largest private hospital company in Texas, earn less than $15 an hour. The union says 47 percent of workers they represent at Las Palmas earn less than $15 an hour.

“On top of worrying about whether I’ll get sick or bring COVID home to my family, I worry whether  I’ll have enough money to keep the lights on and pay the rent and whether I can afford to keep doing the job I love,” Sandra Cardenas, a food service worker at Del Sol, said.

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