Tufts and Boston Medical Center raise wages to $15 per hour

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Boston Medical Center and Tufts Medical Center will raise starting pay to $15 per hour amid union pressure and activity, according to The Boston Globe

BMC will raise the wage floor from $13 to $15.12 per hour beginning Jan. 3. The change will affect more than 200 of the system's 6,000 employees who are members of joint representation by the Service International Employers Union Local 1199 and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. BMC President and CEO Kate Walsh told the Globe the hospital has considered raising wages for a while.

Tufts will raise wages over 18 months beginning in January for approximately 225 of its 5,000 employees. The move comes amid a spat of union activity at Tufts. The SEIU claims hospital officials have run a campaign to halt unionization, although Tufts officials say they were simply having conversations with employees. SEIU said the wage increase is the result of workers "[forcing] the administration's hand." Tufts did not disclose its current minimum wage to the Globe.

SEIU Local 1199 has urged other bodies to raise wages to $15 per hour. In June, the union reached an agreement with the administration of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R) for a statewide starting hourly wage of $15 for approximately 35,000 home care workers represented by the union.

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