Kiva Robbins with family

What We’re Fighting For

The caregivers of Johns Hopkins are fighting to end poverty pay at America’s #1 hospital.

Right now, one-quarter of roughly 2,000 service, maintenance and technical workers at Hopkins make less than $11.47 an hour — that’s the poverty level for a family of four.

Nearly 70 percent of Hopkins workers make less than $14.92 an hour — the wage that qualifies a single parent and child for food stamps.

Hopkins caregivers are fighting for a Fair Wage plan that would dramatically improve the minimum wage at Hopkins. Currently, wages at Hopkins are as low as $10.71 an hour. We’re working to establish a $15-an-hour minimum wage for workers with 15 or more years’ service in the first year of our new contract. And within four years, we’re fighting to lift every worker to at least $14 an hour.

And it’s not just the lowest-paid employees at Hopkins that have pay problems. Salary surveys by Maryland’s Health Services Cost Review Commission show that Hopkins surgical techs and pharmacy techs among others are substantially below Baltimore market rates.

As many hospital caregivers say, “It’s better to be from Hopkins than at Hopkins.” Management expects workers to be satisfied with the prestigious name and live with the low pay. But you can’t pay your bills with prestige.

While our Fair Wage plan would make a dramatic difference in the lives of many Hopkins workers, it would be a modest expense for the hospital.

The Fair Wage plan we proposed in bargaining on April 3 would add just $2.4 million to Hopkins’ payroll in the first year of a new four-year contract. To put that in context, Johns Hopkins Hospital made a $145 million profit on operating revenues of $1.9 billion in fiscal year 2013.

America’s #1 hospital can afford fair wages for every one of its workers.