Here’s why thousands of workers at this big Charlotte employer are getting raises

Atrium Health expands outside the Carolinas

Some experts fear healthcare costs could go up as competition diminishes with an ever-expanding Atrium Health,
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Some experts fear healthcare costs could go up as competition diminishes with an ever-expanding Atrium Health,

Atrium Health said Wednesday it plans to increase pay for more than 15,000 employees, primarily nurses and those in nursing support roles across the Charlotte-based hospital system.

The increases will range from 2 to 5 percent for some workers and 5 percent on average for others, Atrium said. The raises are expected to take effect by the end of March and represent an investment of $19 million, the system said.

Atrium said employees in the Charlotte metro area are among those who will benefit from the increase.

Maureen Swick, system nurse executive for Atrium, said in a statement that the move reflects the system’s “continued commitment to those who provide exceptional care to our patients, families and communities every single day.”

It’s the second raise for Atrium nurses in less than a year.

The system noted Wednesday that it had also given 9,000 nurses a raise in July. Those increases ranged from 50 cents to $1 per hour, depending on roles.

Also, in June, Atrium announced an increase in its minimum wage to $12.50 per hour, up from $11.50. That change impacted more than 7,500 employees in the Charlotte metro area, Atrium said at the time.

In describing Wednesday’s decision, Atrium said it consistently reviews whether its pay rates are competitive.

Atrium is Charlotte’s dominant hospital system, employing more than 35,000 people in the Charlotte metropolitan area. Its largest competitor is Winston-Salem-based Novant Health.

In August, Novant announced it was increasing its minimum wage in North Carolina to $12.50 per hour, from $11 previously. That changed affected about 5,000 employees, including in the Charlotte metro area, Novant said.

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Deon Roberts has covered Charlotte’s financial services industry for The Charlotte Observer since 2013. His beat includes Bank of America and Wells Fargo. He attended Loyola University in New Orleans and is a native of Lafitte, La.