- Innovative Worker-Owned Cooperative Resolves Healthcare Staffing Shortages With Career Pipeline, Flexibility, Benefits, and Ownership Stake for Workers
As the COVID-19 pandemic creates havoc with patients, hospitals, and healthcare facilities nationwide, a new organization, AlliedUP, is implementing an innovative approach to hiring and retaining healthcare staff. This comes at a time when patients are feeling the results of the crunch among both medical and support staff.
A CVS Health-Harris Poll National Health provided to Axios found that 80 percent of respondents are concerned about the shortage of health care workers. The poll found a significant number of Americans have been affected because of everything from canceled appointments to delayed surgeries and overcrowded hospitals. Axios reports that of the more than 2,000 adults polled Feb. 10–15, 45% had trouble scheduling appointments since spots are limited, 36% said their physician’s offices are operating on reduced hours, and 21% reported that their physicians stopped practicing.
“The poll’s findings are very consistent with what we know to be true: there is a severe shortage of healthcare workers exacerbated by the pandemic,” said AlliedUP CEO Carey Carpineta, noting that AlliedUP provides workers with opportunities to work in their own communities with excellent pay, benefits, and flexibility, and they can become worker-owners.
In less than two years, the healthcare sector has lost almost 500,000 workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of labor Statistics. And a survey by Morning Consult last fall underscored the ongoing healthcare worker crisis: since February 2020, their research found that 30% of U.S. healthcare workers have lost their jobs (12 %) or quit (18%). An additional 31% said they considered leaving their employers during the pandemic.
“Although the U.S. economy has recovered faster than many others around the world, persistent labor-market problems lurk beneath the surface,” said Lenny Mendonca, senior partner emeritus at McKinsey & Company and former chief economic and business adviser to California Governor Gavin Newsom. “Moreover, the deep class, race, and gender-based inequalities laid bare by the pandemic are getting worse, demanding investment in and support of the promising innovation that the AlliedUP Cooperative brings to the healthcare industry.”
As the world’s first worker-owned healthcare staffing cooperative, AlliedUP has found a way to keep healthcare workers on the job. The cooperative just started and is on track to place nearly 1,000 new workers this year, and recruit another 3,000 by the end of 2023. It provides hospitals and health facilities with qualified, trained, and engaged workers. The cooperative works to solve many underlying issues that beset healthcare staffing even before the pandemic struck, including the critical need to:
- Address healthcare staffing shortages with high-quality talent
- Provide value-rich jobs in under-resourced communities
- Scale healthcare staffing in communities throughout the country
- Provide flexibility, benefits, education, and training to healthcare workers
AlliedUP understands the financial and workplace challenges many healthcare workers encounter and seeks to improve their family health and financial security. It is the only union healthcare staffing company in the country, which helps ensure good wages, healthcare benefits, and work conditions. The owner-workers have access to training and education programs paid for by the cooperative. The workers – certified assistants to operations staff, clinical staff, and registered nurses – have the flexibility to choose full-time positions, short- or long-term assignments, or on-call shifts.
“I am so grateful to be on the AlliedUP team,” said David Ngo, a MedSurge registered nurse. “It’s a refreshing, new approach to working in healthcare, and the caring culture really sold me. Because of the union-scale pay, full benefits, education, and an online support community, I have referred several of my travel-nurse friends who are joining the team too.”
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