Mercy will increase the starting wage for all co-workers across its multistate footprint. The $18 million additional annual commitment will raise more than 6,000 co-workers’ pay to $15 an hour and serve as the starting wage for all newly hired co-workers.
“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 be implemented across Mercy as of Sept. 19. Co-workers will see the increase in their paychecks as soon as Oct. 8. Some of the more than 6,000 co-workers who will receive an increase 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 serves a geographical area that has a significant percentage of jobs under $15 an hour, including Arkansas, which has the highest percentage of those jobs in the U.S.: 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.”
In addition to raising wages of co-workers making less than $15 an hour, Mercy will continue to review co-worker pay across all communities and job descriptions and adjust accordingly.
Mercy, named one of the top five large U.S. health systems for four consecutive years by IBM Watson Health, serves millions annually. Mercy is one of the nation’s most highly integrated, multi-state health care systems, including more than 40 acute care, managed and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, convenient and urgent care locations, imaging centers and pharmacies. Mercy has 900 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 2,400 Mercy Clinic physicians and more than 40,000 co-workers serving patients and families across Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has clinics, outpatient services and outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.