ST LOUIS, Mo. (KNWA/KFTA) — Mercy is increasing the starting wage for all employees to $15 across its entire multistate health system.
Mercy announced the move on Thursday, saying the $18 million additional annual commitment will raise more than 6,000 of its employees’ pay to $15 per hour.
Fifteen dollars per hour will also now serve as the starting wage for all new hires, the hospital network said.
“This decision is rooted in our values and promotes the common good for our co-workers and the communities where they serve,” said Lynn Britton, Mercy president and CEO.
The new minimum wage will go into effect across the Mercy system on September 19, and employees will see the raise in their paychecks as soon as October 8.
The more than 6,000 employees receiving raises include housekeepers, food service, transportation and pharmacy, medical and lab technicians, “all of whom are critical to providing compassionate care and exceptional health care service,” Mercy said.
Mercy noted that its hospital network serves a geographical region that has a significant percentage of jobs under $15 an hour, including Arkansas, which has the highest percentage of those jobs in the country (Arkansas, 47.4%; Oklahoma 43.8%; Missouri, 41.6%).
“We decided to make the transition immediately, rather than in stages, because this critical decision can positively affect so many lives and families,” said Britton. “It is our prayer and hope that this will ease the financial stress of many co-workers, regardless of where they work in our ministry, and let them know what they do matters greatly to the patients and families we serve every day.”