On August 12, Los Angeles legislators Senator Bob Hertzberg and Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo joined health care workers and community clinic leaders to announce a major milestone in our effort to save community clinics across California from the brink of collapse. Community health centers across California were facing a financial and staffing crisis before the pandemic—then their revenue and workforce were walloped by COVID-19. Clinic budget shortfalls have led to longer wait times and diminished care for patients.
“Since COVID, we have far fewer staff, and more healthcare workers leave community clinics for higher-paying jobs. We are urging lawmakers to help us fix this ongoing problem of not having enough workers and also providing relief to the clinic workers that remain,” said Anselmo Espinoza, a lead medical assistant at Clinica Romero and a member of SEIU 721.
At the rally and press conference, which was held at Clinica Romero in LA, workers, elected officials, and clinic managers called on the Newsom Administration and legislature to commit to $1,000 retention payments. These payments would benefit an estimated 70,000 frontline health care workers at California’s community clinics.