Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Wages and Value

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Wages and Value

Article excerpt

It is not an exaggeration to say that the work of hospital housekeepers is a matter of life and death. An estimated 75,000 patients died of a hospital-acquired infection in 2011 and careful cleaning keeps dangerous bacteria in hospitals at bay.

But hospital housekeepers' rate of pay does not reflect their importance to patient well-being here in Pittsburgh. Transporters, nurse's aides and secretaries all receive similarly skimpy compensation, according to the recently released "Report of the Wage Review Committee on the Impact of Raising Wages at Pittsburgh's Anchor Institutions."

These low wages matter because all of these workers, in one way or another, hold patients' lives in their hands. Housekeepers kill potentially deadly bugs. A transporter could have a patient suddenly go into respiratory arrest and need to act immediately to save that person. …

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