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Minimum Wage Increase for Healthcare Workers

United Healthcare Workers West - a branch of the national service employees union - is pushing the higher wage on behalf of staff who've worked alongside doctors and nurses throughout the pandemic.

The wage increase would affect nursing assistants, security guards, janitors and others at private facilities including hospitals and dialysis clinics.

The California Association of Hospitals and Health Systems opposes the effort, saying it would lead to an almost 7 percent increase in operating costs for private providers and create unequal pay among workers at both private and public facilities in the same community.

The union has poured roughly $11 million into the ballot efforts in 10 Southern California cities - and hospitals have matched that. If successful, the union says it'll consider taking the proposal to other parts of California.