Cleveland Clinic to increase minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020
Cleveland Clinic plans to increase its minimum wage for the "overwhelming majority" of its workforce to $15 per hour by 2020, president and CEO Dr. Tom Mihaljevic announced on Wednesday.
In the first phase in January, the hourly wage for 1,900 employees will increase to $14 an hour. Then, in 2020, the hourly rate will increase to $15 an hour for 2,900 employees. Commonly, those seeing the increase are entry-level, hourly employees, such as food service, patient transport, medical assistant, appointment center and others. The federal minimum wage is $7.25.
The system is phasing in the increase over two years because it is "a significant cost," but there will be no impact on rates, clinic spokesperson Eileen Sheil said.
"As the largest employer in Northeast Ohio and the second-largest employer in the state of Ohio, Cleveland Clinic has a responsibility to lead the way and help shape the future of healthcare and the healthcare workforce," Mihaljevic wrote in his announcement, published in a Cleveland.com op-ed column.
The increase applies only to Clinic employees, not contractors, Sheil said. It also doesn't at this time apply to employees at Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital, which the clinic purchased in April and is working to integrate into the system.
In 2015, the clinic raised its minimum wage to $12 an hour and adjusted wages for nearly 15,000 "caregivers" — the term the system uses for all of its employees. Annual merit increases also continue to lift caregiver wages, Mihaljevic wrote.
"More broadly, we want our caregivers to feel appreciated and respected, fiscally and otherwise," he wrote. "A new Office of Caregiver Experience is gathering ideas and input from everyone at Cleveland Clinic to improve the workplace environment and tackle serious issues like burnout and fatigue. Health care can be a difficult, stressful profession. It's important that we value all of our caregivers, providing them with pay and benefits that are not just competitive but also set the tone for Northeast Ohio."
Mihaljevic also pointed to the clinic's track record of hiring locally: In the first three quarters of 2018, 93.6% of its new hires live in Northeast Ohio, with 59.4% from Cuyahoga County and 18% from Cleveland.
Clinic caregivers are "a critical part" of the region, Mihaljevic wrote, and when they're healthy and financially stable, they can give back and uplift their neighborhoods.
"Increasing our minimum wage demonstrates our commitment to our employees and their families, as well as the community and our patients," he wrote. "It is a reflection of who we want to be as an organization."
"Cleveland Clinic to increase minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020" originally appeared in Crain's Cleveland Business.
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