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Wednesday, October 01, 2014 / PROGRESSIVE JOURNALISM FOR POSITIVE ACTION
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Hospital Funds Minimum Wage Increase for Workers with Executive Bonuses

Christina Sarich
NationofChange / News Report
Published: Wednesday 2 July 2014
Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas, Texas changed the lives of 230 workers and increased their pay instead of increasing the already high-grossing top executives. Finally, a company going against the grain.
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While House Republicans recently unanimously voted to keep funding the 1 percent and deny millions of workers a minimum wage increase, Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas, TX has decided to go against the grain.

The national proposal was aimed at raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour so that those living close to the poverty line could make more of a living wage. Using funds that were earmarked for executive bonuses, 230 janitors, housekeepers and other low-income workers at Parkland will now enjoy a $1.50 an hour raise, bringing their pay to $10.25, slightly higher than the wage increase proposed to Congress.

Sixty vice presidents and top executives at Parkland made the decision to cover the cost of $350,000 for a year, the amount it will take to change the lives of 230 workers, instead of increasing a few executives’ pay who are already making healthy salaries. They are hoping the pay increase will raise employee moral.

“It is the right thing to do,” said Paula Dobbs-Wiggins, MD, chair of the Board’s Employee Relations Executive Compensation Committee. “(We are) recognizing the importance and value of all our employees to fulfilling our mission.”

Raising pay also decreases employee turnover, and cuts down on training costs.

“It helps us recruit and maintain a higher caliber of staff at all levels inside Parkland,” said Jim Dunn, PhD, Executive Vice President and Chief Talent Officer at Parkland.

Other companies who are raising their minimum wage include, The Gap, who will raise their minimum pay to $10.00 an hour this year, and Costco already pays their employees a minimum of $11.50 an hour. The average employee there makes $21.00 per hour. Starbucks, CEO, Howard Shultz said he was in support of a minimum wage increase, but he doesn’t think he can give his employees as many benefits if the national minimum wage is increased.

Even without a federal mandate, companies would be wise to raise their minimum wages to a pay that outpaces poverty. The following chart from MIT shows what a typical family in America would need to earn just to pay their bills.

Hourly Wages

1 Adult

1 Adult, 1 Child

1 Adult, 2 Children

1 Adult, 3 Children

2 Adults

2 Adults, 1 Child

2 Adults, 2 Children

2 Adults, 3 Children

Living Wage

$8.67

$17.76

$22.87

$29.25

$13.30

$16.36

$17.75

$20.71

Poverty Wage

$5.21

$7.00

$8.80

$10.60

$7.00

$8.80

$10.60

$12.40

Minimum Wage

$7.25

$7.25

$7.25

$7.25

$7.25

$7.25

$7.25

$7.25

 

 



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ABOUT Christina Sarich

Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. She also writes exclusive articles for NationofChange. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.

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