From Illinois Business Journal news services
PEORIA — The system that operates Saint Anthony’s Health Center in Alton and other OSF hospitals has announced it is raising the minimum wage for workers to $10 an hour.
OSF HealthCare announced the plan this week, saying it would be effective Nov. 22.
Approximately 482 Mission Partners will benefit from the increase, about 3 percent of the 17,000-person workforce.
OSF HealthCare is an integrated health system owned and operated by The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, based in Peoria, consisting of 11 acute care facilities in Illinois and Michigan, two colleges of nursing, a physician organization, and an extensive network of home health services.
Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. The minimum wage in the state of Illinois is $8.25 an hour, in Michigan it is $8.15 an hour. While some national retail companies have announced moves to boost the minimum wage for workers, OSF HealthCare is one of the largest health care systems in Illinois to do so.
“We have made the decision to increase the minimum wage because it is the right thing to do. The adjustment impacts these Mission Partners the most,” said Sister Judith Ann Duvall, O.S.F., Major Superior and OSF HealthCare board chairperson in announcing the increase. “Our Sisters deeply value all of our employees and the wonderful service they bring to our Sacred Ministry.”
“This socially just wage is consistent with our values and the Catholic teaching on the dignity of workers and work,” added Kevin Schoeplein, OSF HealthCare CEO. “Each OSF Mission Partner counts; each of us makes a difference in the way we treat our patients, their families and each other.”
The majority of those who will benefit from the wage increase serve in food service, housekeeping, gift shops, or are members of the guest services team.
“This shows me OSF cares about taking care of its workers – they value us,” said Abby Nicolet, a Food Service Assistant at OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center in Alton for a little over a year. “I am paying for college and want to continue working in the medical field, this will help. Plus, I will be able to help my mom with some bills.”
Trevor Malatek has worked as a floor care technician at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford for about 10 months and is also a college student, studying to be a nurse. “When employees get paid more, they have more pride in their work, so patients benefit, too. OSF didn’t have to do this, but it will have a lot of benefits in the long run.”
“For me, it’s a student loan payment or car payment every month,” explained Rebecca Copeland, a room service ambassador at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, the married mother of a kindergartener who took a starting position to gain more experience within the dietetic department so she can fully use her college degree. “OSF is a great employer, but this is a physical job with long days, so the increase is a positive, encouraging step.”