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November 30, 2018

Jefferson raises minimum wage to $15/hour across health system

Thousands of employees will see pay increases starting in January

Business Wages
Stock_Carroll - Thomas Jefferson Hospital Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

An entrance to a Thomas Jefferson University Hospital building on South 10th Street.

Jefferson Health will raise the minimum wage for all hospital and university employees to $15 an hour at the start of 2019, the health system announced this week.

More than 1,800 employees across 14 hospitals, Magee Rehab and Thomas Jefferson University will see an increase in their paychecks in January, marking another major institution answering the call for better standards of pay.

“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, 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.”

Jefferson has expanded rapidly over the last five years, acquiring and merging with other hospitals across the region, from Abington and Aria to Kennedy and Einstein. In that span, the health system has grown from a $1.1 billion operation to one worth $5.1 billion. Its 30,000 employees make it one of the largest employers in the region.

An analysis of Jefferson employees making under $18 an hour also led the hospital system to commit to rate adjustments for more than 2,600 employees starting in January.

The announcement comes less than a month after Amazon raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour, a move that also covers Whole Foods employees. Target has committed to raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020. The federal minimum wage remains just $7.25 an hour and has not been adjusted since 2009.

“Doing the right thing by patients and employees is ingrained in our values,” said 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.”