As one of the largest employers in Moore County, St. Joseph of the Pines hopes that the recent decision to raise its minimum wage to $11.28 per hour sets an example that other local companies will follow.
“We want to send a clear message,” said Lori Portfleet, president at St. Joseph of the Pines. “All boats will rise if we help improve the lives of our colleagues.”
St. Joseph of the Pines, in concert with parent company Trinity Health and Trinity Health Senior Communities, announced the $1.28 per hour increase from $10 per hour in an Oct. 9 email to colleagues.
“In an effort to maintain our competitive advantage for the position of Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at both The Health Center (in Southern Pines) and our LIFE facility in Fayetteville, any colleague that holds that position at either of those locations will be brought up to the new minimum rate early, effective Oct. 7, 2018,” the email said.
All other positions at St. Joseph of the Pines will pay at least $11.28 per hour effective June 30, 2019.
“Our colleagues are the backbone of our organization,” Portfleet said. “Our mission dictates that we are a compassionate and transforming healing presence in the communities we serve. I can think of no better way to demonstrate our mission in action than by recognizing our colleagues.”
North Carolina’s minimum wage has been $7.25 per hour – one of the lowest rates in the country – since 2008, when it was increased 70 cents from $6.55 per hour.
St. Joseph of the Pines has approximately 750 colleagues, making it one of the 10 largest employers in Moore County. The SJP increase mainly affects housekeeping, home care, and food and beverage colleagues.
The new rate is based on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) living wage database, which is updated regularly. The lowest wage that a Trinity Health ministry will pay will be $11.28 per hour and may vary depending upon geography and local market conditions.
According to the living wage calculator run by MIT, the living wage required for one adult to fully support their basic needs without governmental assistance is $10.13 per hour. In Moore County, that rate is $10.82 per hour.
Portfleet said the increase will enable St. Joseph of the Pines colleagues to “become more fully vested in the community.”
“By investing in our colleagues, we are investing in our community,” she said. “We all benefit when our colleagues can give our local economy a greater hand up. We have made this investment because it is the right thing to do.”
Feature photo courtesy of St. Joseph of the Pines: Lori Portfleet, President at SJP.