NEW ORLEANS, LA (WAFB) - Ochsner Health System announced Thursday it will increase minimum wage payments from $8.10 per hour to $12 per hour, increasing the overall annual pay for more than 1,200 people employed by the system. The roughly 48 percent increase in minimum wage is expected to begin January 20, 2019.
According to a U.S. Bureau of Labor report, in 2017 approximately 3.6 percent of hourly workers in Louisiana – nearly 40,000 people – earned at or below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Ochsner, Louisiana’s largest nonprofit health care system and private employer, says the change was sparked by data drawn from an assessment of employee needs.
“Over the last five years, we’ve seen the organization grow tremendously to support the healthcare needs of local communities and patients across the Gulf South. It is important to improve the overall financial well-being of our employees, and the Board is proud to support this initiative,” said Andy Wisdom, Board Chairman, Ochsner Health System.
According to The Associated Press, Ochsner Health System currently pays a minimum wage of $8.10 per hour, which is already above $7.50 per hour, the legal minimum wage.
“Although Ochsner was already well above the current Louisiana minimum wage, we wanted to do more." said Warner Thomas, CEO and president of Ochsner Health System “People are our most important asset. As the largest private employer in Louisiana, we understand our responsibility to be a great place to work for those who have chosen careers at Ochsner.”
Ochsner employs nearly 25,000 employees and over 4,500 employed and affiliated physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties