Unionized Cleveland Clinic workers speak out after learning minimum wage increase doesn't apply to them

The Cleveland Clinic is facing pushback from unionized employees over a minimum wage increase that excludes them, according to The Plain Dealer.

Cleveland Clinic in December announced plans to raise the minimum wage for employees to $15 by 2020. The organization bumped the hourly rate for an estimated 1,900 employees to $14 in January.

But the raise reportedly does not apply to about 90 union employees at Cleveland Clinic Lutheran Hospital and Cleveland Clinic Children's. The employees, who earn less than $14 per hour, are members of the Service Employees International Union District 1199.

Cleveland Clinic told The Plain Dealer hourly rates for these unionized employees must be part of negotiations scheduled to begin next year.

"We welcome the discussion about a wage increase with them, but those are not stand-alone negotiated items," said Eileen Sheil, executive director of corporate communications for Cleveland Clinic.

Ms. Sheil said Cleveland Clinic is unable to do raises "in isolation" since they are associated with benefits and salary schedules, which must be negotiated.

"We absolutely expect that that will be on the table" in negotiations, she said.

But union officials contend the raise should apply now to SEIU employees.

Destiny Bates, a housekeeper at Cleveland Clinic Lutheran, told The Plain Dealer she sees the situation as unfair.

"Everybody should be involved in the raises," she said.


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