OpEd: Cedars-Sinai deserved better treatment

Dear Cedars-Sinai Medical Center,

Thank you for being an integral part of our community.

I’m sorry that the West Hollywood City Council did not give due care to the special needs of the health care industry when consolidating Cedars-Sinai Medical Center under the Health Care Workers Ordinance. ‘hotel.

Cedars-Sinai deserved an exemption from the minimum wage ordinance for hospitality workers until the concerns raised by Cedars-Sinai representatives were digested and discussed.

I am sorry to see the primary health care facility serving our residents being ignored. How did Cedars-Sinai Medical Center get dragged into the Hospitality Workers Ordinance?

I am sorry that our city council does not understand the unintended consequences of their decision.

And I’m sorry for the comments made by members of the community, including some readers on our feedback forums, that belittle and defame the success of a medical institution that most of us are proud to have in our back yard.

At the last city council meeting, Cedars-Sinai’s important voice was reduced to a two-minute public comment to explain the complexities of the health care system. But most shocking was how board member D’Amico pushed back.

“The very suggestion that you want to come to this council and ask us to exempt you from this order is incomprehensible to me,” D’Amico said. But you did.

Isn’t that what public comments are for?

D’Amico was asking Cedars to update its systems to enforce a onerous rule imposed on healthcare workers.

If Cedars has an office in Los Angeles and a lab in West Hollywood, the driver will need to save time in West Hollywood for additional benefits, sick time, and paid time off.

One by one, 16,000 hospital workers will have to time all the time spent in West Hollywood. Employees will be required to wear tracking devices to clock in. Their freedoms will be compromised. This is a rule that does not apply to UCLA Medical Center or other major hospitals in Los Angeles. Why do we rank healthcare workers who earn fantastic salaries and benefits with housekeepers in hotels? Using “workers’ rights” to victimize the employer and confuse workers’ rights with board rules is pretty misguided. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center pays top salaries to attract top talent. They don’t need the city council interfering with their business model of providing care with over-regulation.

Mayor Pro Tem Shyne followed D’Amico, Mayor Meister followed, then council members Erickson and Horvath. Cedars-Sinai’s concerns were never mentioned. They deserved better treatment, respect and to have their concerns discussed and debated.

The collaboration between the City of West Hollywood and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has always worked hand in hand to elevate our community.

Cedars-Sinai is the largest employer in the city of West Hollywood, employing more than 16,000 workers. Cedars has offices and buildings in West Hollywood and Los Angeles. The rush to move this point forward did not consider Cedars Sinai’s unique needs, nor the costs of implementation. Zero Cedars-Sinai employees spoke about this article. Zero reviews received. Instead, this advice vilified “profit”, which is less than 8% of total revenue during a peak Covid year. Cedars deserved more time and understanding from council members who know less about health care than hotels. Hear what Cedars-Sinai representatives told the city council:

“Health care crises don’t give notice, Cedar is a level one trauma center, the highest level possible, and we’re ready 24/7 to care for trauma patients, The News administrative burdens of the order will have the unintended consequences of limiting our ability to act quickly and effectively, whether it’s staffing, building or operating temporary facilities to care for covid patients, or meeting When it comes time to provide comprehensive trauma care to comply with the practices of the prescription systems, we should replace the systems by July 1.

Are you listening?

Mylène Brooks, vice president and associate attorney and labor relations, addressed the city council during public comments as the ordinance was finalized. Brooks noted that “if applied to Cedars-Sinai and other healthcare providers, the order could compromise the safety of patients, employees and the community as a whole.”

Are you listening?

This item which may affect the health and well-being of patients and employees and has been reduced to public comment. There has been no in-depth analysis of how this hotel worker ordinance affects the health care industry.

Brooks continued, “We are a complex and dynamic health system in which clinical and non-clinical service workers move through health system locations and community settings like parks and schools to provide care to approximately 2 million patients per year, including vaccination clinics and health screenings. The order would require that we manually track and log the time of our clinicians and support staff providing services in West Hollywood.

“The order is inconsistent with existing state and local furlough laws and therefore with current Cedars=Sinai policies. This ordinance appears to be modeled after the Los Angeles Hospitality Employee Minimum Wage Ordinance, but we do not operate as a single location hotel.

In life or death situations, emergency responders should not be burdened with “time in West Hollywood”. They shouldn’t have to park their ambulances outside our city limits to save costs. You can bet that when Cedars-Sinai chooses where to expand, these additional regulations will discourage growth in West Hollywood.

Cedars invests in our community in many ways. Yet some city council members are downplaying a profit margin, other commentators say raising the price of aspirin. It’s not the cost of aspirin, it’s the cost of nurses and doctors earning a reasonable salary, $100,000, maybe $50 an hour and it cost them 15 minutes for you give this aspirin and all the paperwork and regulations.

Thanks again Cedars Sinai for all you do. Most of us in West Hollywood appreciate you. I would like us to develop policies that you could applaud as good ideas for improving public safety. Our city council thinks they know how to run hospitals, hotels and the sheriff’s department.

Thank you Cedars-Sinai. Thank you for supporting the Disability Heath Fair which is sponsored by the Disability Advisory Board. Thank you for standing up during Covid to fight the pandemic to keep us all safe. Please always partner with West Hollywood during Pride and Halloween to ensure we have a rapid response mechanism. Thank you for writing off millions of dollars a year providing services to those who cannot afford them. Thank you for being one of the best health care facilities in the world and for taking care of so many of us.

About Antoine L. Cassell

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