Cooper University Health Care Chairman George E. Norcross, III, issued a statement commending and thanking the leaders of health systems in New Jersey and Pennsylvania for raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour for employees at their institutions.
“I want to thank our colleagues at the health systems that have joined Cooper in raising the minimum wage for their employees to a minimum of $15 an hour,” said Norcross. “Our colleagues at these health systems are demonstrating their leadership and commitment to their employees, patients, and the communities they serve. I am not surprised so many have joined us because it is the right thing to do, and these health care leaders are in the business of serving others. It’s encouraging.”
On November 13, Cooper was the first health system in the state to announce it would institute a $15 an hour minimum wage beginning in January 2019. In Cooper’s announcement, Norcross urged other health systems across the state to follow suit and sent letters to chief executives at health systems across New Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania directly asking them to raise wages for the benefit of their workers, patients, and communities.
In his letter, Norcross wrote, “It is not only the right thing to do, it is a sound business decision which will improve our ability to hire talented employees, reduce turnover in these positions, and improve services.”
Since Cooper announced its new minimum wage policy, several health systems across New Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania, have announced similar minimum wage increases. The list includes St. Joseph’s Health System in North Jersey, Inspira Health System, Valley Health System, RWJ Barnabas Health, Virtua Health System, and the Jefferson Health System.
“It is important that health systems lead the way on this issue given all that we know about the connection between financial security and long-term health outcomes and we are proud to work alongside such enlightened leaders,” added Norcross. “We are confident that a reasonable minimum wage for our employees is an investment in the future that will result in stronger, healthier communities and a better health care experience for patients.”
At Cooper, the new minimum wage policy will go into effect in January 2019, and will benefit approximately 10 percent of Cooper’s 7,500 employees. One-third of employees receiving an increase to the new minimum wage are residents of the City of Camden and approximately 450 others are residents of Camden County. All other employee benefits and compensation will remain in place. In addition, employees currently making at or near the new minimum wage, will have their wages adjusted accordingly.
Wendy A. Marano
Public Relations Manager
Cooper University Health Care