Ascension's new 'socially just' minimum wage: $11 an hour

St. Louis-based Ascension is raising its minimum wage to $11 per hour, what it calls a "socially just minimum wage," according to St. Louis Post-Dispatch report.

The wage raise will take effect July 5 and affect approximately 10,500 of Ascension's 150,000 associates, including those in laundry, environmental, housekeeping, nutrition and administrative disciplines.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 and states range in minimums up to $9.50. Many cities have enacted or proposed local minimum wages as well. Los Angeles City Council made news this week when it voted to raise the city's minimum wage from $9 to $15 an hour by 2020.

Ascension has followed a socially just wage and benefits policy for years. It reviews minimum wage each year to ensure it reflects economic conditions in each market, and in most markets the rate ranged from $9 to $10 per hour.

"We believe our associates deserve a socially just wage that acknowledges the dignity of the human person and the spiritual significance of the care they provide every day to those we serve and to their fellow associates," Anthony Tersigni, Ascension president and CEO, said in a statement. "In deliberating with leaders across our national health ministry, our local leaders have decided that just as we are leading the transformation of healthcare in our nation, we should also set an example for other organizations, particularly other healthcare providers, in advocating for a fair and just minimum wage."

Ascension is the parent company of Ascension Health, which operates 131 hospitals and more than 30 senior care facilities across 23 states and Washington, D.C.

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