Children’s Healthcare raises its minimum wage to $15, affects 1,000 employees

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

Credit: WSB-TV WSB-TV

Credit: WSB-TV WSB-TV

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta announced that it will raise the minimum wage for its employees to $15 an hour starting next year.

The change will affect more than 1,000 employees, Chief Administrative Officer Linda Matzigkeit said. She added that Children’s is the first healthcare organization in metro Atlanta to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour.

“The COVID-19 pandemic put a lot of strain on our employees, both financially and emotionally,” Matzigkeit said. “We’ve implemented a number of programs to help our employees with the stress, but we also felt like it was important to make a financial commitment to them and try to take that worry off their mind.”

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She said the healthcare organization, which currently operates three pediatric hospitals in DeKalb and Fulton counties, also increased employee paid time off and offered free on-site counseling services as a result of the pandemic.

Children’s has more than 11,000 employees, many of whom are not physicians or doctors, Matzigkeit said. The minimum wage increase will go toward employees working in food services, environmental services, transportation and patient care technicians among other roles.

“These are our frontline staff, and they deserve to have a living wage,” she said.

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Chief Administrative Officer Linda Matzigkeit
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Chief Administrative Officer Linda Matzigkeit

Credit: Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

Credit: Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

Matzigkeit said the minimum wage increase was the organization’s top priority in next year’s budget. She added that other services were not cut in order to finance the pay bump.

“We feel like we are in a solid place and can make this happen,” she said. “And we feel that if we can’t retain the best employees, we’re going to pay for it on the other side with continuing to recruit, so we hope this will improve retention and engagement.”

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Children’s has several open positions, and more information can be found at careers.choa.org.

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