Sentara invests in team members with more than $125M in pay increases and enhanced benefits in 2022
Sentara Healthcare, the Commonwealth of Virginia’s largest integrated health system and one of its largest employers, announced today it will offer employees $110 million in pay increases and $15 million in benefit enhancements in 2022.
Beginning March 17, 2022, Sentara will implement a 5% market pay increase for all eligible colleagues, up to and including the director level. This increase represents Sentara’s second market adjustment in less than 12 months. Colleagues will also be eligible for a merit increase in May 2022. The combined increase of 8-9% (market and merit) in 2022 benefits more than 96% of Sentara’s 29,000 colleagues.
“Investing in our people is always a top priority and in line with our mission to improve health every day. I am grateful for their dedication and have been humbled to witness the resilience they’ve shown over the last two years,” said Sentara President and Chief Executive Officer Howard P. Kern. “These important enhancements will support our people today and into the future as we work together to care for our employees, patients, health plan members and local communities.”
The pay increase represents the latest investment into Sentara’s diverse workforce. The company previously gave out monetary appreciation gifts in April and December of 2021 of up to $3,500 total per team member in recognition of their service to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company raised its starting wage to $15 per hour – more than twice the federal minimum wage. Sentara colleagues also received market and merit increases in May 2021 of up to 8%, valued at over $50 million.
Sentara employees will see new and enhanced benefits in 2022. Effective January 1, 2022, Sentara employees have access to reimbursement programs to assist with adoption expenses, infertility care expenses, and surrogacy and gestational carrier expenses. In the coming months, additional benefits will be made available to all team members (full- and part-time) including increased paid time off, paid parental leave, short term disability eligibility at 7 days, enhanced sick time eligibility, additional support for family caregivers, and increased tuition reimbursement to support career advancement.
Last year, Sentara invested more than $185 million in team member compensation increases, appreciation gifts and other COVID-related compensation programs. Combined with the raises and benefit enhancements being announced today, the system’s added contributions in 2021 and 2022 will total more than $310 million.
“At Sentara, we believe in our people and are proud to be an employer of choice in the communities we serve,” said Sentara Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer Becky Sawyer. “We continually evaluate our compensation and benefits programs to ensure they reflect team members’ needs, contributions and changes in our markets. Investing in salaries and innovative benefits is essential in attracting and retaining the best talent and providing the care our patients and health plan members deserve.”
By: Peter Sengenberger