UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – The health care industry is facing a labor shortage due to the vaccine mandate and battling a continuing pandemic. To show employee appreciation, as well as attract new workers, the Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) announced they will be raising their minimum wage.

“Our industry is definitely going through a very rough time, but we have faith that all of us working together will allow us to be all that we can be!” – said Darlene Stromstad, President/CEO of Mohawk Valley Health System

The increase for hourly employees will be to $16 and salary employees will receive a 2% increase. This represents a significant investment of around $6.34 million dollars by MVHS.

“We sincerely appreciate our staff for continuing to be such dedicated professionals in spite of a difficult work environment,” said Darlene Stromstad “This investment in our amazing employees is being made to thank them for their hard work, dedication and resilience during this challenging time,”

Along with the hike in minimum wage, MVHS is also planning other initiatives that will offer even more incentive for people to become employed with MVHS and supporting employee unions. These include new referral bonuses of up to $5,000, establishing sign-on bonuses for ‘critical positions’, and potential on-the-spot hiring at job fairs.

“The increase in the minimum wage makes our rates more competitive, which not only benefits our employees, but also will serve as an incentive to recruit additional employees. These rates include both nonunion and union employees. We are grateful to our unions who support these increases.” – said Darlene Stromstad, President/CEO of Mohawk Valley Health System

MVHS says that they will also be using outside firms to “aggressively” recruit and proactively contact potential new applicants.  These plans are scheduled to be fully rolled out by January 1st.