Workers at Cox Branson left “speechless” after minimum wage increase

Local News

BRANSON, Mo. – Earlier this week, CoxHealth announced they would be raising their minimum wage to $15.25.

For staff members like Michelle Torgerson, an Environmental Services Technician at Cox Medical Center Branson, this raise is life-changing.

“We’re not going to stress the gas tank. You know, we’re not going to stress this gallon of milk because of the powers that be created a whole new opening. We’re just beyond words. You know, what can you say? That’s a big jump! And you know it wasn’t easy for them. How they did it we don’t know. They just did it.”

For Torgerson and other members of the team, this raise means an extra $3 per hour. President of Cox Medical Center Branson, William Mahoney, said the company is investing a lot of money into their employees.

“This is a $25-million plus increase in one year,” said Mahoney. “The average business in the state of Missouri doesn’t have a $25-million payroll.”

But Mahoney says it will be money well spent if they can retain and recruit more staff members like Torgerson during the pandemic.

“That’s the EVS person who walks in a room, and they’re cleaning things, and they’re asking how you’re doing. That’s not expected. You expect from your doctor and from your nurse and from your lab tech, but our EVS people, they’re praying with people. They’re talking with people. They are extremely important.”

“You can’t explain,” said Torgerson. “You heard… when we had that meeting when they announced it, you could just hear everybody take a sigh of relief.”

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