Oregon Health & Science University today announced that it is raising the minimum wage to $18 per hour for all employees represented by the AFSCME Local 328 labor union — a significant increase over the local minimum wage, supporting efforts to recruit and retain employees in the face of ongoing workforce challenges.
Nearly 100 employees’ pay will be increased to $18 an hour, which is $3.25 higher than the current Oregon minimum wage for the Portland metro area. As a result of the base increase in pay ranges for all AFSCME job classifications, other represented employees may also see pay increases.
“Supporting the people of OHSU is one of our top priorities,” said Qiana Williams, M.Ed., OHSU executive vice president and chief people officer. “Oregonians rely on the services that our members provide every day, and their dedication does not go unnoticed. Having a people-first culture means we are continually looking at ways to invest in our people.
“One way of demonstrating how we value our members is ensuring they are paid competitively, especially as costs rise across the world and workplace demands have increased,” she continued. “This is a first step, and we feel it’s a critical one to start with.”
Workforce shortages continue to persist across industries, and OHSU has not been immune. Many departments across OHSU’s missions have struggled to fill positions, despite concerted recruitment efforts, causing considerable strain on dedicated members who are working longer and harder as a result. OHSU leadership has pursued every angle to address these challenges, and is continuing to work on short- and long-term solutions — including evaluating other employee classifications for potential pay adjustments — to bolster staffing levels and support the well-being of OHSU members.
Animal Resources and Research Support teams have been particularly impacted by staffing shortages in their mission-critical work caring for thousands of animals. In recognition of that effort and to help attract new team members, nearly 120 eligible AFSCME-represented employees who work in animal care roles will receive an additional $3 to $4 increase to their base hourly pay rate, depending on classification.
The higher minimum wage and additional increase for animal care roles supports OHSU’s ongoing efforts to retain current and recruit new members, and address persistent staffing challenges. The raise is effective with the pay period that began Jan. 30, 2023.