As nation, state and city officials continue to debate the issue of income inequality, a South Los Angeles business is taking matters into their own hands, raising pay for all of their workers to a living wage. St. John's Well Child and Family Center, a non-profit healthcare provider serving more than 175,000 patients including tens of thousands from the new Ninth District, reached a landmark collective bargaining agreement with SEIU Local 721 this week that will guarantee workers no less than $15 an hour. All workers already making a higher wage also received a bump in pay.
"Income inequality is a persistent issue plaguing our country, our city and especially our under-served South Los Angeles community," said Councilman Curren Price." I applaud St. John's Well Child and Family Center for taking this huge step forward, and practicing what they preach. This effort is consistent with the progressive legislation that we at the City level are looking to implement and I hope that it serves as an incentive for more businesses to follow suit."
St. John's President and CEO Jim Mangia expressed his excitement for the agreement at a recent press conference, and stressed his commitment to ensuring that all of his employees have the means to support themselves and their families, especially as the health care network prepares to increase their services to patients enrolled in the Affordable Healthcare Act.
“We put forward the proposal for a living wage because we want our health centers to be the best places to give and to receive care,” said St. John’s President and CEO Jim Mangia. “The cost for these raises to St. John’s will be significant...but we felt strongly as a social justice and health care organization that it was our obligation to raise the living standard for healthcare workers locally and nationwide. We are standing up and throwing down for the $15 wage.”