Judge Orders Pay Hike for State Mental Health Workers
A federal judge last week ordered the Department of Mental Health to raise salaries of all clinicians at state mental health facilities in an effort to reduce staff shortages resulting from pay disparities with mental health care providers at state prisons, the Los Angeles Times reports.
U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton last year ordered steep pay increases for prison mental health workers, prompting staff shortages at state mental health facilities.
Stephen Mayberg, DMH director, said the pay raises will be granted to all clinicians whose colleagues in state prisons received raises earlier this year.
The order by Karlton will raise the wages within 5% of the salaries earned by prison mental health workers. The order also calls for the state within 30 days to submit a plan to make available more intermediate care beds at Atascadero State Hospital, which had to stop accepting new patients because of inadequate staffing.
The ruling expands an order by Karlton in May to raise the wages for psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed social workers and psychiatric technicians (Romney/Gold, Los Angeles Times, 7/2).