LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Feb. 27, 2014) — The University of Louisville became Kentucky’s first public university to implement a living wage when it increased its minimum wage for regular status staff employees from $8.67 to $10 per hour in November.
UofL Provost Shirley Willihnganz has approved a proposal to increase its minimum wage by 25 cents per hour per year for the next four years, starting this July and continuing in 2015, 16, and 17 – bringing the rate to $11 per hour by July 2017.
“Living wage adjustments during 2013 represented a 15 percent salary increase for our lowest paid employees,” said Sam Connally, UofL vice president for human resources. “For many, this has made a tangible difference in being able to meet the necessities of daily living with more confidence and less stress. The scheduled increases from $10 to $11 represent an additional guaranteed increase of 10 percent over the next four years.”
Defined as the minimum hourly pay necessary for UofL employees to afford the average cost of living in their community, including housing, food and transportation, the living wage varies by location.
More than 150 employees benefited from the increase in November.
“Employees at the lower end of the salary scale are responsible for keeping our buildings and grounds and labs in tip top shape and make the work and study environment for faculty, staff, and employees enjoyable, clean, hospitable and safe,” Connally said. “The implementation of a living wage recognizes the hard work of these employees and represents a tangible commitment on the part of the university that we will do our part to recognize your contributions to the university.”
UofL employees earning the minimum will be eligible for additional compensation if in a given year the university’s total salary pool for the year exceeds the living wage adjustment for that year.