Beaumont Hospitals will pay bonuses for the first time in at least 20 years to more than 17,400 workers.

Spokesman Robert Ortlieb says the suburban Detroit hospital system with locations in Royal Oak, Troy and Grosse Pointe will on Friday issue $750 bonus checks to full-time workers hired before July 1. Part-timers will receive a prorated check based on the number of hours they work per week.

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Beaumont also will freeze health, dental and vision insurance premium costs for all employees in 2011.

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Workers last saw a pay increase in July 2008 before the hospital system posted a $29.5 million operating loss. Beaumont laid off hundreds of workers in 2008 and 2009 and froze wages.

President and CEO Gene Michalski tells The Detroit News the bonuses recognize sacrifices made by employees.

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