MVHS set minimum wage at $16 per hour

Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) announced in December that it would implement two significant wage and rate increases that will benefit its employees.

The MVHS minimum wage is being increased to $16 per hour, effective in the Dec. 12-13 pay period. This change impacts 783 employees and the increase will be reflected in the Dec. 30-31 pay checks.

All other employees will receive a 2% across-the-board increase, also effective Dec. 12/13. This increase does not apply to employed physicians, mid-level providers or executives.

“This investment in our amazing employees is being made to thank them for their hard work, dedication and resilience during this challenging time,” said Darlene Stromstad, president and chief executive officer at MHVS. “We wanted to show our heartfelt appreciation to our staff for the care and compassion they provide to our patients and the way in which they care for each other.

“The increase in the minimum wage makes our rates more competitive, which not only benefits our employees, but also will serve as an incentive to recruit additional employees. These rates include both nonunion and union employees. We are grateful to our unions who support these increases.”

In total, these increases represent a $6.34 million investment in MVHS employees.

MVHS also announced a few other initiatives in the works that are slated for a Jan. 1 rollout, subject to final contractual approval with MVHS unions.

• Instituting referral bonuses payable to current employees who refer new employees for both RNs ($5,000) and critical positions ($1,000) such as care attendants, monitor techs, unit secretaries, ward clerks, phlebotomists, laboratory medical technologists, nutrition services, EVS, laundry, psych tech, OB tech, respiratory therapists and others.

• Establishing sign-on bonuses ($1,000) for critical positions. Currently there are sign-on bonuses for RNs ($10,000 for those with more than three years of experience, and $5,000 for those with less than three years).

• Aggressive recruiting with outside firms, including proactively contacting potential applicants.

• Reaching out to community organizations to promote healthcare careers and encourage applicants for existing jobs.

• Implementation of ongoing job fairs where applicants can be hired on the spot.