Christiana Care Health System is planning to start paying a $15 minimum wage.
The raise starts February 1st and will affect 500 Christiana Care employees occupying the hospital’s clerical, technical and service positions.
Christiana Care President and CEO Janice E. Nevin, M.D, MPH says she expects this will have a positive impact on the local economy.
“We know that having a job and being paid a fair wage is not only good for the economy but it’s also good for health.” said Nevin. “We believe it’s the right thing to do for the health of our community and the health of our organization.”
Christiana Care is the largest private employer in Delaware with nearly 12,000 employees.
The health system is the first to make this move in Delaware where the minimum wage is currently $8.25 an hour and will rise to $9.25 in Oct. 2019. Christiana Care is joining a short, but growing, list of hospitals across the country paying unskilled workers more than the national $7.25 an hour minimum wage.
Nevin says unskilled workers are crucial to hospital operations and patient care.
“Very often (patients) will comment on how caring the person was who came every day to clean their room; how important was the person to their recovery, the person who delivered food,” said Nevin. “These are folks who have really essential jobs.”
Nevin adds she expects the pay raise to reduce employee turnover.
New Jersey hospitals Cooper University Health Care and Virtua Health Care also recently bumped wages to $15 an hour, as well as UNC Health Care in North Carolina.