- Advocate Aurora Health, one of the nation's largest nonprofit health systems, said it is raising its minimum wage to $18 per hour beginning Dec. 5.
- The pay bump will affect roughly 41% of Advocate Aurora's more than 75,000 employees. Altogether, it will directly impact nearly 11,000 employees and another 20,000 who are already making $18 per hour but will be moved up the pay scale because of the change.
- Workers set to see a boost in pay include food and environmental service workers, pharmacy techs and licensed practical nurses. The pay increases amount to $93 million through 2022, the health system said.
This is the fourth time the Midwestern health system has raised its minimum wage in less than three years, according to a news release. Most recently, it was raised to $15 an hour at the beginning of this year.
Advocate Aurora CEO Jim Skogsbergh said in a statement that employees' commitment "has been nothing short of extraordinary, especially during these challenging times."
The announcement comes as healthcare workers throughout the country report they are exhausted and burned out nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result, labor strife has been rife throughout the industry. For some, it has led to the picket line with workers clamoring for better resources and pay.
Thousands of healthcare workers at Catholic Health's Mercy Hospital in Buffalo, New York, first walked off the job Oct. 1 after failing to agree to terms for a new contract. The two sides reached a tentative agreement last week, ending a nearly 40-day strike that included nurses, technologists, clerical staff, aides and other service workers.
In California, Kaiser Permanente workers are set to strike Monday in what is poised to be the largest work stoppage in the country this year, according to figures with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As many as 28,400 healthcare workers, including a large contingent of nurses, could walk off the job come Monday.
Workers there are pushing back against Kaiser's proposal to institute a two-tier wage system in which new workers would be paid on a lower scale.