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University institutes $14.50 minimum hiring rate for employees

<p>The Student Center was built in 2008 and remained nameless until this semester.</p>

The Student Center was built in 2008 and remained nameless until this semester.

This article has been updated to include responses from Auburn University Human Resources. 

Auburn University will raise hourly wages to $14.50 for more than 200 employees beginning next year, the University announced Monday.

The minimum hourly wage of $14.50 will go to administrative professionals and eligible full-time and part-time regular employees beginning Jan. 1, 2022, according to an email sent to Auburn staff and students on Monday.

More than 200 eligible full-time and part-time employees will see pay increases as a result of the new minimum hiring rate, but the rate does not apply to faculty, temporary employees and student employees, including graduate teaching assistants. 

According to a follow-up email sent to The Plainsman from employees in Auburn University Human Resources, the increased minimum hiring rate will also not apply to workers contracted by a third party, such as Aramark, which handles much of the University's dining operations.

The University said the new minimum hiring rate will ensure all eligible full-time employees earn above the living wage for Lee County. According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s "Living Wage Calculator," an adult in Lee County with no children must earn $13.45 to cover all basic expenses and relevant taxes. The living wage for an adult with one child in Lee County is $27.54.

The wage increase will not impact student tuition or fees but will be funded by a combination of expected budgetary savings and reallocation of resources, the University said.

Human Resources will draft and provide letters to departments to share with their impacted employees by Oct. 31, according to the University.

The wage increase will raise the University's payroll expense by $558,000, which is .24% of Auburn’s total annual payroll. 

The increase is one part of the University's initiative to implement sustainable pay practices, which it has done since 2015, Human Resources said in the email to The Plainsman. Human Resources also said that adjustments to the minimum hiring rate that account for inflation will be considered as the University evaluates its compensation practices.

"As with all employee programs, sustainability into the future is an important objective," employees from Human Resources wrote in the email. "Planning for future adjustments to the MHR is one of several factors that will be considered as the university continues to evaluate our compensation practices."

Evan Mealins | Editor-in-chief

Evan Mealins, senior in philosophy and economics, is the editor-in-chief of The Auburn Plainsman.


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