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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Dallas Hospital Uses Executive Bonus Fund to Give Employees a Raise

(Incidentally, it was this Parkland Hospital to which the slain
President JFK was taken for treatment upon his assassination. Furthermore, we could find no evidence the employees had any need for a labor union.)

Thursday, June 19, 2014
Dr. Jim Dunn (photo: LinkedIn)
Raising the wages of low-paid workers normally doesn’t make headlines. But in an era of soaring corporate profits and stratospheric CEO salaries, a hospital in Dallas made news when its executives decided to spend money ticketed for their own benefit so employees at the lowest rung could receive a raise.

The hospital, Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas, announced recently that it would elevate its own minimum wage from $8.78 to $10.25 an hour starting in July. Texas’ state minimum wage is currently $7.25.

The decision will affect about 230 workers, including those who wash sheets and towels, who make food for patients, and who keep the hospital clean.

But it was how Parkland decided to finance the raise that got people’s attention. The extra $350,000 needed to fund the minimum wage increase will come out of a pool of money reserved for executives’ bonuses.

Dr. Jim Dunn, the hospital’s executive vice president and chief talent officer, told Modern Healthcare that the decision was “the right thing to do.”

“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.”

Parkland’s effort comes at a time when the difference nationwide between CEO pay and the salaries of ordinary workers has gone from a ratio of 87-to-1 two decades ago to 296-to-1 today, according to Think Progress, a liberal advocacy group.

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