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Maui health workers rally for fair wages

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United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals
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Maui Memorial Medical Center is one of Maui Health System's five hospitals and clinics serving residents and visitors on Maui and Lānaʻi.

Maui nurses and health care workers rallied Wednesday in Kahului to demand fair wages at the county’s only hospital system.

Maui Health System employees with the United Nurses and Health Care Employees of Hawaiʻi say fair wages are needed to help recruit and retain staff.

Josh Masslon, a critical care nurse at Maui Memorial Medical Center, says he continues to see his coworkers leave for higher wages.

"It's a determining factor for a lot of people who leave for higher paying jobs and a lower cost of living. So with staffing shortages, you have an increased workload and that brings down morale, and it also compromises patient safety. And I know this is happening everywhere," says Masslon. "The burnout is real. We’re tired. And hopefully people understand when we can’t pay people appropriately, we can’t keep staff. And if we don’t have adequate staff, we can’t give adequate care."

Maui Health System employees with the union are currently in negotiations with management for a wage increase.

Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi is a general assignment reporter at Hawaiʻi Public Radio. Her commitment to her Native Hawaiian community and her fluency in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi has led her to build a de facto ʻōiwi beat at the news station. Send your story ideas to her at khiraishi@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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