UofL mandates living wage for contract workers
By John Drees - December 16, 2015
A UofL worker cleans the grounds. In 2013, UofL was the first public university in Kentucky to guarantee a living wage to its employees.
UofL officials have approved a requirement that companies entering contracts with the university must pay their full-time staff a minimum wage of at least $10.10 per hour. Companies currently doing business with the university will be required to meet the new guidelines when their agreements are renewed.
The new policy matches one implemented by the commonwealth’s executive branch this summer that mandates the higher minimum wage for many state government workers and for employees of companies doing business with the state. Universities were excluded from that policy.
The university has contracts with companies in a number of areas, including food service, residence hall cleaning and security services, and printing and copying services.
In 2013, UofL was the first public university in Kentucky to guarantee a living wage to its employees. The university currently pays its full-time staff a minimum wage of $10.50 per hour with $.25 per hour increases planned for each fiscal year through July 2017, until the minimum salary is $11.00 per hour.
“Full-time contract employees are vital to the success of many operations around the university,” said Harlan Sands, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration. “Establishing this policy will ensure they can meet their basic life needs and will help our contractors attract and keep outstanding employees. In short, this is simply the right thing to do.”