Compensation Issues

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NJ hospital board chairman wants $15 minimum wage at all regional health systems

Cooper University Health Care in Camden, N.J., is raising the minimum wage for all hospital workers to $15 per hour in 2019 and its board chairman, George Norcross III, is imploring the rest of the health systems in New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania to follow suit.

Writing as a guest columnist for the Star-Ledger, Mr. Norcross said, "Cooper should not be alone in making this decision. Especially in our cities, medical centers are among the largest employers, and an increase in wages will have a huge impact on our own communities. And there's certainly no reason the state's suburban and rural hospitals should not follow suit as well."

Mr. Norcross argues that increasing the minimum wage is not only the right thing to do for workers, but that it will provide long-term benefits to a hospital's community. Raising the minimum wage improves the well-being of workers, helps hospitals recruit and retain employees in a tight labor market, and can help stimulate the economy in the communities surrounding hospitals.      

"While there is undoubtedly a cost that comes with this decision, the benefit it provides to the people who make our organizations run and the patients they serve clearly outweighs the cost, especially when you consider what the state unemployment rate is today," Mr. Norcross wrote.

Read the full column here.

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