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OSF increases minimum wage for its employees

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OSF HealthCare announced Thursday it will set the minimum wage for employees across its entire system at $10 an hour, well above both the federal minimum wage and that of the two states where it operates.

The increase will take effect Nov. 22, OSF announced.

“As both an employer and a Ministry of Catholic health care, OSF HealthCare is called to be socially just and recognize the personal worth and dignity of every person served – including its own Mission Partners (employees),” OSF said in a statement announcing the increase.

The higher minimum wage will affect about 482 employees, or about 3 percent of the total 17,000 employees in the Peoria-based OSF system. OSF HealthCare is an integrated health system owned and operated by The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, which is based in Peoria. The system consists of 11 acute care facilities in Illlinois and Michigan, two colleges of nursing, a physician organization and, and an extensive network of home health services.

The news release noted that the federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour, while the minimum wage in Illinois is $8.25 an hour and in Michigan, $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, the release said.

"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.

“For me, it’s a student loan payment or car payment every month,” said Rebecca Copeland, a room service ambassador at OST Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria. She is married with a kindergartner who accepted a starting position at the hospital so she could gain experience in 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.”

“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. She’s been there 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, a floor care technician at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford for about 10 months, 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,” he said.