Effective January 2019, Jefferson will increase minimum wage to $15 an hour. This pay increase applies to all 14 hospitals, including Magee Rehab, as well as Thomas Jefferson University, and will benefit more than 1,800 current employees.
“We take seriously our value of putting people first and the important role our employees play in delivering a great experience to those who choose us,” said Bruce A. Meyer, MD, MBA, president of Jefferson Health and senior executive vice president of Thomas Jefferson University. “Providing fair and consistent pay is just the beginning of our efforts to enhance Jefferson’s benefits’ programs for our valued employees.”
For several months, Jefferson has been evaluating an increase in minimum-wage pay, which is currently set at $7.25 by the federal government. Jefferson has grown over the last five years from a $1.1 billion to a $5.1 billion operation and with more than 30,000 employees is one of the largest employers in the region.
“Doing the right thing by patients and employees is ingrained in our values,” added Jeffrey Stevens, executive vice president and chief human resources officer. “This increase to minimum wage supports those standards and helps us work toward achieving our mission of improving lives.”
Additionally, after an analysis was conducted of Jefferson employees earning less than $18 an hour, Jefferson will ensure these rates are adjusted to adequately compensate employees for their work. More than 2,600 Jefferson employees can expect to see this adjustment in January 2019.
The benefits of economic growth over the last few decades have not trickled down proportionately to individuals in the lower income group—with the disparities more evident in larger cities with relatively higher cost of living, noted Philip Russel, PhD, dean of the School of Business at Jefferson.
“An increase in minimum wage sends a powerful message that we care about the quality of life of our employees and will, hopefully, inspire other major private employers in the region to follow suit,” he said. “Understandably, an increase in minimum wage will impose a financial burden, but the incremental costs will more than likely be outweighed by the anticipated benefits of lower employee turnover, increased employee morale and productivity, and contribute to economic growth through higher consumer spending.”