CoxHealth is investing $4 million into its workforce.
The funding is being used to increase the health care system's minimum wage to $12 per hour, according to a news release. That's up from the $11 per hour minimum set in February 2019. The latest increase comes ahead of the $12 per hour Missouri minimum wage scheduled to take effect in 2023.
"Despite the challenges of this past year, we feel that this is a very important move for us to make to help our employees, both current and future, know that we value their work and how important they are to our organization," said Andy Hedgpeth, vice president of human resources at CoxHealth, in the release.
The $12 per hour figure equates to $24,960 annually, assuming the worker is full time. Comparatively, the state's minimum wage is currently $10.30 per hour, equating to $21,424 per year for full-time employees working the standard 2,080 hours per year.
At CoxHealth, the minimum wage increase takes effect in April. It's slated to impact more than 5,500 of the health care system's current employees, according to the release.
CoxHealth in late 2020 invested $8 million to make market adjustments for nursing and allied health employees. Between that increase and the minimum wage hike, roughly 9,300 employees, or 75% of the health care system's workforce, will have received pay upgrades in the past few months, officials said.
"All employees, regardless of which department they work in, are crucial to giving exceptional health care,” CoxHealth President and CEO Steve Edwards said in the release. “This move was also overwhelmingly backed by our board of directors, all of whom are local and are invested in this community.
"I think the change speaks to their support of our employees.”
Read the profiles of this year's honorees.