CVS to raise starting pay to $11 an hour

CVS Health reports it will increase its starting hourly pay to $11 for U.S. workers. The company, with 240,000 U.S. workers, currently pays a starting wage of $9 an hour, though many employees earn more. CVS Health says that in addition to raising the minimum, it will increase pay for lower-wage retail workers at its nearly 10,000 U.S. stores.

CVS Health reports it will increase its starting hourly pay to $11 for U.S. workers. The company, with 240,000 U.S. workers, currently pays a starting wage of $9 an hour, though many employees earn more. CVS Health says that in addition to raising the minimum, it will increase pay for lower-wage retail workers at its nearly 10,000 U.S. stores. CVS Health will offer all full-time employees 4 weeks of paid parental leave and will freeze employee health premiums for the coming year. About 100,000 workers are enrolled in the company's employee health plan. The moves are expected to cost $425 million a year. The company said last month it expects the recent tax overhaul legislation will boost cash flow in 2018 by about $1.2 billion. CVS says paying a more competitive wage to community pharmacy workers, from pharmacy technicians to cashiers, will bolster efforts to make its stores into health care hubs. CVS also reports higher-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings due to rising sales from its pharmacy services segment. The company says same-store sales excluding pharmacy sales rose 0.1% in the most recent quarter.