(May 16th, 2019, Chicago City Hall) — Le Chrisha Pearson, a Mt. Sinai Hospital CNA, spoke at the Reimagine Chicago press conference at City Hall, which was organized by the Grassroots Collaborative and United Working Families (UWF). Here are Ms. Pearson’s remarks. _____________________________________________
My name is LeChrisha Pearson and I will have worked at Mt. Sinai Hospital as a CNA for over 8 years in July.
I make just $13.53 an hour.
My starting wage at Sinai was $11.53, which means I’ve only gotten a $2 raise since 2011.
The hospital industry makes billions of dollars in annual revenues, and yet I continue to make a poverty level wage? How is that fair?
My 13-year old son wants to play football. But I simply cannot afford to pay for his equipment and expenses for him to purse his dreams.
There is nothing more painful to a mother who has to look at her son and say, “I can’t afford to pay for you to play sports.”
It’s especially hard when I know that not playing sports might hurt his chances in applying for college later on.
This is why I’m calling a CODE BLUE on the hospital industry, because me and all my fellow hospital service workers are worth more!
And yet, I earn such a low wage that I can’t afford Mt. Sinai’s health insurance and am forced to get healthcare through Medicaid.
That tells you everything that is wrong about the state of the hospital industry in Chicago right now.
Our Re-Imagine Chicago Coalition is pushing for Chicago to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021.
But frankly, the hospital industry shouldn’t wait for legislation from the City Council to do what’s right – the industry should pay a $15 starting wage RIGHT NOW!
I’m also honored that our newly elected alderman, who will be sworn in on Monday, are standing with us today.
These bold and progressive leaders understand the needs of working people – and are committed to taking on the hospital industry and who support our movement to give hospital workers a $15 starting wage, the right to join a union and to have a real voice.