New Jersey's Cooper University Health Care says it will begin paying a $15 minimum wage at the start of next year, up from its current $10.25 an hour.

George Norcross, the Camden-based health system's chairman, said in a statement Tuesday the change would affect roughly 10 percent of the organization's 7,500 employees.

The decision comes as Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy and the Democrat-controlled Legislature are considering a statewide minimum wage hike to $15 an hour.

Murphy on Tuesday praised Cooper's decision in a statement.

New Jersey's $8.60 minimum wage will go up by 25 cents in January under a requirement that it track with inflation.

Murphy says Cooper is the first New Jersey hospital system to raise its minimum wage to $15.

Cooper operates a hospital, cancer center and children's hospital. It's a major employer in southern New Jersey. The Virtua health system declined to discuss its minimum wage.