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UNC Health Care will hike minimum wage to $15 an hour in the New Year

Employees at UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill, UNC REX Healthcare in Raleigh, and UNC Physicians Network in the Triangle can look forward to seeing their pay rise in 2019 – with the lowest paid workers seeing the minimum wage rise to $15 an hour by next July.

UNC Health Care made the announcement official on Tuesday:

The living wage will be adjusted on Jan. 13, 2019, to $14 per hour, and then again to $15 per hour in July 2019. That minimum rate of pay will be more than double the Federal and State minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

Other hourly employees’ wages will also increase as a result of the minimum wage change. Collectively, those adjustments are expected to result in higher paychecks for about 9,000 employees across the Triangle, and cost UNC Health Care about $15 million a year. Some examples of the types of jobs effected by the living wage increase include housekeepers, stock clerks, nursing assistants, cashiers and others.

“We are committed to providing a competitive living wage to support our workforce,” said Dr. Bill Roper, CEO of UNC Health Care. “We are proud to employ the best people to fulfill our mission of caring for patients and their families, and offering a higher living wage is an important step we are able to take.”

Across the country and North Carolina, more compassionate employers are evaluating and increasing their living wage in order to help address the demands placed on working families. In the Triangle, the cities of Raleigh and Durham, Wake County and other entities have increased their employees’ living wages in recent years.

Discussions about living wages at other UNC Health Care entities outside the Triangle are currently underway. However, the Triangle’s higher cost of living, strong job market and competition for talented co-workers are key factors in the decision to make a living wage adjustment now. UNC Health Care employs more than 30,000 people across its statewide network of hospitals, clinics and more.

The organization says the pay hike is essential to retain a talented workforce in a tight labor market.

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