Johns Hopkins Hospital's service and maintenance workers are currently in negotiations with hospital administrators as they seek fairer wages ("Wage war brews at Johns Hopkins Hospital," April 1). As physicians who work at Johns Hopkins, we stand with our colleagues in their fight for more just pay.

Whether in the hospital, its affiliated clinics or research facilities, we appreciate on a day-to-day basis how these individuals' work contributes to the well-being of our patients and staff. Their role in maintaining Johns Hopkins' leadership in patient safety cannot be overstated.

Unfortunately, however, their own well-being is at stake due to poor compensation. With starting pay at $10.71 per hour at Hopkins, and with nearly 50 percent of workers with more than 15 years experience earning less than $15 per hour, many must rely on government assistance programs such as food stamps to support themselves and their loved ones. This is an unjust way to reward the invaluable work of Hopkins employees. Even among those who have been with us for decades, many must live from paycheck to paycheck as they service our state-of-the-art facilities, including our recent $1.1 billion addition.

As doctors concerned for the health of our Baltimore community, we see too often how financial insecurity contributes to poor health outcomes and disenfranchisement. We hope that Johns Hopkins Hospital will respond to its workers' requests and in so doing contribute to a healthier and more productive East Baltimore.

Drs. Zachary Nayak, Benjamin Oldfield, Jocelyn Ronda, Shonali Saha, Natalie Spicyn and Deanna Wilson, Baltimore

The writers work at Johns Hopkins Hospital as physicians but do not speak for the hospital.

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