Healthcare workers kicked off their “Respect Us, Protect Us, Pay Us” campaign Sept. 23 as they entered contract negotiations with SSM Saint Louis University (SLU) Hospital.
The workers, represented by SEIU Healthcare Missouri-Kansas, were joined by members of Missouri Jobs with Justice, the St. Louis chapter of the Coalition of Black Trades Unionists and other allies, in front of the hospital at 1201 S. Grand Blvd.
SLU is one of the few local hospitals that has not raised its base pay rate to $15 an hour. BJC HealthCare and Mercy moved to a $15 minimum wage for its workers in the last couple months as the hospital systems struggle to retain employees amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
SLU workers, who are eager to set the bar even higher, are asking for a base pay rate of $17 an hour and better worker safety standards, including increased COVID-19 protections.