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Walgreens to raise starting wage for hourly workers

Beginning in phases in October, Walgreens will raise its starting hourly wage to $15, with plans to fully implement the change by November 2022.

Walgreens is making an investment in its hourly team members. The retailer will be raising the starting hourly wage for all of these workers to $15 an hour in phases beginning in October, with plans to fully implement the new wage by November 2022. 

“I am extremely proud and grateful of the work our team members are doing across our 9,000 Walgreens locations serving our customers, patients and communities each and every day,” said Roz Brewer, CEO, Walgreens Boots Alliance. “Investing in and rewarding our team members is not only the right thing to do, it’s highly important to retaining and attracting a talented workforce, and to continuing to serve our critical role in community health care.”

[Read more: Walgreens brings back store employee mask requirement]

Walgreens said the total investment from this effort would total roughly $450 million over the next three years, with a third of the amount being invested during fiscal year 2022. The company said it expects to partially absorb the cost through the normal course of business. 

Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens said the increased wage is the latest in its pandemic-related efforts to strengthen its investment in its employees, including bonus payments and a hiring push that brought 25,000 new pharmacy team members. 

The company also said it has sped up the implementation of its remote and digitalized pharmacy resources, meant to enable pharmacists to spend more time with patients and allow the entire store staff the opportunity to deliver the best service. 

Walgreens is the latest drug chain making plans to raise its starting hourly wage. In early August, CVS Health said it would hike its minimum enterprise hourly wage to $15 an hour, noting that roughly 65% of its hourly workers already earn more than that. 

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