Presbyterian Healthcare Services announced Monday it will pay Santa Fe employees a minimum of $19 per hour and all other workers statewide an hourly wage of at least $15 starting in October.

The Albuquerque-based hospital group operates Presbyterian Santa Fe Medical Center and the Presbyterian Medical Group Clinic on St. Michael’s Drive, both of which offer urgent care services. The higher wage in Santa Fe is because of its higher cost of living, the company said.

The increase will raise the wages of 9 percent of Presbyterian employees, including about 70 at Presbyterian Santa Fe Medical Center, spokeswoman Amanda Schoenberg said.

The company also recently announced a 3 percent pay increase for all employees and managers that will take effect in October. This is in addition to regular pay raises.

“As an anchor employer in New Mexico, Presbyterian is doing our part to support our workforce and the local economy,” Presbyterian CEO Dale Maxwell said in a news release. “We believe this is the right thing to do.”

Presbyterian is the largest hospital group in New Mexico, with more than 13,000 employees statewide and 500 in Santa Fe.

No other Santa Fe employer has announced a $19 minimum. Other local employers have, however, announced $15 minimum wages, include Meow Wolf, the Santa Fe Animal Shelter, the First Judicial District Attorney’s Office and Target.

The “Fight for $15” national workers movement launched in 2012 as fast-food workers in New York City walked out of their jobs, demanding higher pay.

New York City now is among more than 30 cities and counties with minimum wages of at least $15.

California has 29 cities or counties with a minimum wage of $15 or more. Seattle and SeaTac, Wash.; Chicago; Flagstaff, Ariz.; Washington, D.C.; and Montgomery County, Md., also offer the higher wages, according to the Economic Policy Institute’s minimum wage tracker.

Santa Fe’s minimum wage is $12.32 per hour. Santa Fe from 2004-12 had the highest or second-highest minimum wage in the country, alternating with San Francisco.

The Biden administration continues to push for a national $15 per hour minimum wage, a policy long backed by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders. President Joe Biden in April signed an executive order to increase minimum pay for federal contract workers to $15 an hour.

No states currently have a $15 per hour minimum wage, but 10 states have approved increases to that level in the coming five years: California, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Illinois, Maryland, Rhode Island, Virginia and Delaware.

New Mexico’s minimum wage is $10.50 an hour, but legislation calls for phased increases that are set to top out at $12 per hour in 2023.

(1) comment

Lupe Molina

Still won't help high turnover. And who would work for a hospital that refuses unions when there's another one just up the road?

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