Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center Workers Struggle

Rev. James Thomas, CLUE clergy member and President of the San Fernando Valley Branch of NAACP, encourages workers at a Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center picket in December 2022. Workers are asking for better wages and working conditions.

“We can barely pay our rent. They told us they can’t pay us [more] because they’ll go out of business. We [just want] a fair wage that’s at the market so that we can provide for our kids.”

– Serenela Suarez, Environmental Services Tech at Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center

According to MIT, a living wage in California is $21.89 an hour if you have no kids. It’s $44.71 if you have one child. An Environmental Services Tech at Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center (like Serenela Suarez) makes just $17.40 an hour.

With one child, a worker like Serena would need to work well over 80 hours a week to make a living wage. How is that right?

CLUE Los Angeles Committee members are accompanying Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center workers who seek better wages and working conditions as they renegotiate a contract that expired October 1, 2022.

Frontline essential workers’ concerns go beyond compensation. Many hospitals employ “just in time” scheduling that creates stress for workers and often results in fewer people on teams than needed.

“Last year, a hospital technician whose take-home pay was $30,000 per year contracted COVID-19 on the job. Upon his return to work, he was named employee of the month and given a $6 gift voucher for the hospital cafeteria. The hospital system CEO—who was not on the frontlines of COVID-19—received a 13 percent boost in his total compensation, which was worth $30.4 million.”

Health Affairs Magazine – “Nonprofit Hospital CEO Compensation: How Much is Enough?” February 10, 2022

A sacred and just society respects the value of all workers, not just those at the top. In 2022, the struggle continues workplace by workplace. CLUE will continue to accompany frontline essential workers, amplifying their voices until justice is served.

Solidarity is Sacred

Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice educates, organizes, and mobilizes religious leaders and community members to walk with workers while advocating for good jobs, safe workplaces, and healthy communities.

We can stand with low-wage workers, mostly immigrants and communities of color, because people like you support an organized and connected interfaith movement for economic justice.

Please join the movement to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.