Central Health will explore minimum wage bumps for its employees

Central Health is exploring options to provide a cash injection to its employees with minimum wage salaries. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Central Health is exploring options to provide a cash injection to its employees with minimum wage salaries. (Courtesy Fotolia)

Central Health is exploring options to provide a cash injection to its employees with minimum wage salaries. (Courtesy Fotolia)

As residents in the city of Austin grapples with increasing housing costs, Central Health is exploring options to provide a cash injection to its employees with minimum wage salaries.

At Central Health’s Budget and Finance Committee meeting on Jan. 22, managers approved a request from staff to explore the financial effects of increasing the minimum wage for all Central Health employees to a $15 an hour wage.


Specifically, staff want to examine what effects that wage bump may have on wage compression in Central Health's pay structure. Wage compression happens when there is little difference among pay rates for workers in an organization, regardless of skill level or experience, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.

“It is easy just to bump people up to the $15 [per hour], but what happens in the middle—it is a domino effect,” said Susan Willars, enterprise vice president of Human Resources for Central Health.

Central Health staff investigated the fiscal effect of increasing all staff pay to a $15 per hour minimum wage following an initiative to do so by managers in December.



According to a memo written by Willars, staff found it would cost Central Health, Travis County's health care district, an additional $46,424 annually to increase all employee wages to that level.

The review found CommUnityCare is the only organization within the Central Health Enterprise that had employees earning below $15 per hour. The organization currently has 43 employees that would be affected by the wage bump.

Willars told committee members a financial analysis on the risk of wage compression would take her department approximately three months to complete.

“I’m asking to allow us a little more time to look at this a little closer and provide you a true analysis of what the impact is,” Waller said.

A recent study by MagnifyMoney, an independent financial research organization, found the city of Austin is the least affordable housing market in the nation for its minimum wage workers. According to the study, minimum wage workers in Austin would have to work 200 hours in a month to be able to afford the city’s median rent of $1,220.

SHARE THIS STORY
By Iain Oldman

Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. His byline has appeared in PublicSource, WESA-FM and Scranton-Times Tribune. Iain worked as the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition and is now working as the reporter for Northwest Austin.


MOST RECENT

District 14 Sen. Kirk Watson announced Feb. 18 he would be resigning his state Senate seat to work in higher education. Courtesy Kirk Watson
Kirk Watson resigns state Senate seat to work in higher education

The former Austin mayor will become the founding dean at the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs.

Early voting begins Feb. 18 in the 2020 Texas primary. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Here are the candidates who are running for seats representing Northwest Austin

Voters in Northwest Austin can cast their ballots early from Feb. 18-28 for the March 3 primary

Pflugerville ISD adminstration building
Trustees to vote on Pflugerville ISD boundary changes this week

PfISD officials are set to vote later this week on enrollment boundary changes for the 2020-21 school year.

Three candidates are running in the Democratic primary for Texas' 10th congressional district. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Q&A: Democratic candidates for U.S. representative for District 10 discuss area concerns, immigration policy

Three candidates are running in the Democratic primary for Texas' 10th congressional district.

A sign guides voters in during the Nov. 6, 2019, election at Ben Hur Shrine Temple in north Central Austin. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
MAP: Find where to vote early Feb. 18-28 in Northwest Austin

Voters can cast their ballots at any polling location in their respective county.

The Austin location is in the Trails at 620. (Courtesy Kale Me Crazy)
Superfood cafe serving juices, poke bowls now open in Trails at 620

Kale Me Crazy opened its first Austin-area location Feb. 15.

Austin City Council is poised to make a final vote on the land development code rewrite by early April. (CHRISTOPHER NEELY/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER)
Austin’s eight-year effort to rewrite land code advances to final vote with City Council's second-round approval

A majority of Austin City Council voted in favor of the land development code rewrite, setting the stage for a final vote on a project that has exhausted the community for roughly eight years.

James Avery Artisan Jewelry will open Feb. 26 in its new store near The Arboretum. (Courtesy James Avery)
James Avery relocating Anderson Lane store to near The Arboretum

The relocation will allow the Texas-based brand to offer more products and services.

Austin Urgent Care opened in the former space of First Choice Emergency Room. (Amy Denney/Community Impact Newspaper)
Locally owned urgent care facility opens on Jollyville Road in Northwest Austin

Austin Urgent Care can treat a variety of illnesses and ailments.

Approximately 40 parents of Round Rock ISD students spoke at a Feb. 13 meeting on proposed boundary changes. (Taylor Jackson Buchanan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Round Rock ISD parents react to proposed boundary changes

Approximately 40 parents of Round Rock ISD students spoke at a Feb. 13 meeting on proposed boundary changes.

Lammes Candies has a shop off Anderson Lane. (Amy Denney/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lammes Candies celebrates 135 years and 5th anniversary of North Austin shop

Lammes Candies opened its Anderson Lane shop five years ago.

Chinese bubble tea chain opening in Market at Lake Creek in Northwest Austin

This will be the first location for Tsaocaa Tea in Texas.

Back to top