Virginia Tech to increase staff minimum starting pay to $12 per hour in July
Virginia Tech will increase the university’s minimum starting pay for full-time, benefits-eligible staff employees to $12 per hour. The new pay rate will take effect July 10, 2019. Virginia Tech’s current minimum starting pay for full-time, benefits-eligible staff is $10.25 per hour and was last adjusted in May 2018.
This increase will raise the annual salary of approximately 225 employees who currently make less than $12 per hour. Approximately 312 employees who make between $12 and $13.50 per hour will also receive a salary increase.
In addition, based on input from the university’s Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, and other campus groups regarding work-related expenses including childcare and parking costs, Virginia Tech will provide a supplement of $500 for employees who make an annual salary of $35,500 or less. This taxable supplement can be used by employees to offset expenses, such as childcare or parking, and will be paid annually to eligible employees in January of each year.
Approximately 993 employees are currently eligible for the annual supplement. Implementation of this supplement will begin Jan. 1, 2020.
“Virginia Tech values the contributions of every employee and we are committed to being a great place to work,” said Dwayne Pinkney, senior vice president of operations and administration. “This minimum starting pay increase and annual supplement for staff is one step in the university’s efforts to hear and address our employees’ concerns about pay as well as create a culture of excellence throughout the organization.”
“We strive to stand out as a university and an employer,” said Bryan Garey, vice president for human resources. “These changes elevate our baseline for current employees, increase our competitiveness, and will help us attract the best staff to help Virginia Tech achieve the Beyond Boundaries vision."
These changes are the latest step forward in a two-year effort to implement a customer-focused human resources service model. Core to that model is gathering feedback from university employees to understand their needs better and providing deep analysis and best practice research to support workplace recommendations.
Implementation of the pay rate changes and the annual supplement was informed by salary data from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; pay information from other companies; data on the university’s staff turnover and vacancy rates; and reports and recommendations from staff groups and the university’s Staff Senate and Faculty Senate.
“Issues affecting the university’s lowest paid employees have been the focus of my two-year term,” said Robert Sebek, president of the university’s Staff Senate. “Increasing pay to market levels in our locality has been the highest priority, as that will have the most impact on the lives of those staff members. These changes will go a long way toward solving the many related issues we have heard from staff such as childcare, health care, housing, and transportation expenses.
“I am thankful for the support received from the Faculty Senate for these changes and grateful that the administration has implemented the pay increase and supplement for these valued staff,” said Sebek.
While these changes do not apply to hourly wage employees or outside contractors, the university will continue its work to address pay issues for these and other groups.
Virginia Tech anticipates the implementation of the $12 per hour minimum starting pay, the subsequent increases for employees making $13.50 or less, and the annual supplement will cost a total of $1.5 million a year. The university will review employee salaries and the impact of this current action on an annual basis.
“In order to remain a great place to work, we must continuously review pay and other workplace opportunities that our employees bring forward,” said Pinkney. “Through the work done to implement these changes, we have laid the groundwork for an ongoing process to seek solutions that help improve the lives of our valuable employees.”
Additional information about the minimum starting pay increase and annual supplement as well as the university’s pay structure is available on the human resources website.