Mercy increasing starting pay to $15 per hour for thousands of workers

Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 7:45 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 20, 2021 at 4:42 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Mercy is planning to raise its starting wage to $15 per hour for thousands of its employees.

Starting Sept. 19, Mercy will raise its starting pay for more than 6,000 workers, in addition to new employees, according to an announcement Thursday. The company says all workers across its multi-state footprint will be eligible for the new starting wage, including housekeepers, food service workers, transportation workers and technicians.

The change comes as announced an $18 million additional annual commitment to its budget.

“This decision is rooted in our values and promotes the common good for our co-workers and the communities where they serve,” said Lynn Britton, Mercy president and CEO. “It is our prayer and hope this will ease the financial stress of many co-workers, regardless of where they work in our ministry, and let them know what they do matters greatly to the patients and families we serve every day.”

In addition to raising starting wages, Mercy says it “will continue to review co-worker pay across all communities and job descriptions and adjust accordingly.”

Mercy Health System operates hospitals in four states, including Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma. Mercy’s HR Vice President Mark Moir says the decision stems from a current competitive market.

“We made this decision because it keeps us competitive in a very rapidly changing marketplace. The entrance into our markets competition for talent is pretty aggressive. We feel like this will continue to position us in a way in which we can continue to support our ministry and in the future,” said Moir.

According to Moir, Mercy felt this is the time to increase pay due to the variety of forces in the market. And it’s not directly driven by one specific issue.

The pay increase will impact 6,000 workers and will directly affect workers in environmental services, nutrition, pharmacy techs, lab techs and others.

“We have competition moving into the market, Amazon, Costco, there’s a variety of large employers that are coming in. We need to be able to compete for talent at that wage and thought it is right time to do that. We want to make sure that we can attract and retain the best talent possible so that we can continue to provide compassionate care and exceptional service to our communities,” said Moir.

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