Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is applauding the University of Louisville for raising the salaries of hundreds of employees, which will go up to $11 per hour over the next three years.
Last November, UofLlaunched a "living wage" program that raised the minimum salaries for hundreds of employees from $8.67 to a $10 hourly rate. The program was the first of its kind among Kentucky's public universities and UofL workers are set receive another pay hike in July. Grimes has made raising the minimum wage a key part of her campaign. She says other state universities should follow UofL's lead. From the Grimes campaign: "As I've made clear since entering the race, we must raise the minimum wage for all Kentuckians to grow the middle class and help our people provide for their families. I applaud the University of Louisville's leadership in raising wages for their employees and hope that other institutions follow UofL's lead. It is long past time that we reward the hard work of all Kentuckians with a pay raise." Under the "living wage" program employees will see a 25 cent increase for the next four years starting this summer until the $11 per hour rate is set by July 2017. The pay increases do not include student workers and adjunct faculty instructors. "Living wage adjustments during 2013 represented a 15 percent salary increase for our lowest paid employees," says 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." The campaign to re-elect Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell has yet to respond to our request for comment.