Target: CEO of Parkland Hospital, Dr. Fred Cerise
Goal: Applaud vote to increase hospital employees’ minimum wage using executive bonuses
With the minimum wage war ground to a halt at the national level, it is up to state and local governments and organizations to pursue a living wage for their constituents and employees. The pay gap between CEOs and their workers has snowballed since the early 1990s to nearly 300 percent, and while CEOs have been enjoying their share of blooming corporate profits in the last few years, the average worker has seen a drop in wages. The federal minimum wage currently remains at $7.25 per hour, several dollars short of the hourly pay workers would receive were the minimum wage adjusted for productivity (almost $22) or even simply for inflation (over $10).
Recently, the executive board of the Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas decided to take a stand against the low legal minimum wage by raising the entry-level salary for hospital employees, which at $8.78 was already above the federal and state minimums, to $10.25 per hour. As a result of this decision, all Dallas County employees will make at least $10.25 hourly. The $350,000 per year that it will cost the hospital to implement this wage increase will come out of next quarter’s bonus pool for the 60 top executives and vice presidents.
Parkland’s executive vice president and chief talent officer Dr. Jim Dunn spoke to Modern Healthcare about the decision, which the board hopes will empower workers and boost morale. He commented, “We really want, in any way possible, to break down any gaps or anything between the top leaders and those who are closest to our patients…We feel like it’s the right thing to do.” Dr. Dunn also noted that the idea for this wage increase is the brainchild of the administration under the new CEO, Dr. Fred Cerise.
By signing this petition, you are thanking the Parkland Hospital for standing up for the workers that are most often forgotten. You are thanking it for raising the minimum wage at the hospital, and setting an example for the state and the nation when it comes to protecting those who have the least.
Dear Dr. Cerise,
I am overjoyed by your recent decision to boost the minimum wage of hospital employees to $10.25 per hour. As you may know, organizations that pay their employees a living wage see the benefits as well, in decreased turnover, increased efficiency, and easier recruitment. In the wake of the federal government’s failure to raise the minimum wage, it is up to organizations and local governments to take up the cause of the underpaid worker.
Thank you for using part of your executive bonus pool to fund an increase in minimum wage at Parkland Health & Hospital System. In an age where CEOs often make nearly 300 percent of their lowest-paid employees, we cannot afford to wait for government action. Thank you for being a leader and setting an example to organizations and businesses across the country.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Mazen Mahdi via Wikimedia Commons