Wages increased faster for lower-paid staff

Sept. 12, 2001, 10:16 a.m.

Wage improvements for lower-paid Princeton employees will be implemented faster than promised last spring, as the University moves to bring the average pay of staff members in all non-exempt positions to the market average or higher.

All non-union, bi-weekly-paid workers are receiving pay increases, even those whose wages already were above average market pay. Employees are being notified of their new salaries, which took effect Sept. 3, in letters sent this week. The wages of unionized workers also will be adjusted, as soon as discussions with the unions are concluded.

"We are very pleased to be able to make a greater increase this fall than was originally anticipated," said President Shirley M. Tilghman. "We greatly respect and appreciate the contributions all members of our staff make to the life of this University and we will do everything we can to complete these adjustments as quickly as possible. "

Tilghman noted that the University is committed to maintaining wages in coming years at or above the market average - defined as 101 percent of the average salary shown in relevant market surveys.

In total, the pay increases will affect approximately 1,600 office and clerical employees, library support staff members, laboratory and technical support staff members, and maintenance and service employees.

In response to concerns about compensation for the University's lower-paid workers, University officials announced in May that they would close approximately one-third of the gap between existing wage levels and market averages in 2001, and would eliminate the remaining gap over the next several years. Instead, the wage improvements just implemented close about half the gap immediately. The University hopes to complete the elimination of the wage gap next year.

Progress has been made in other compensation initiatives as well. Casual workers hired to work at least half-time for five months or longer have been converted to regular or term positions, which carry benefits. This move affects approximately 100 people, most of them in Dining Services.

Princeton also has committed not to contract out for continuing services, such as janitorial services, if the contracted employees would be paid less than the University's minimum of $11 per hour. The University now contracts for these services on a very limited basis in buildings off the main campus, and does not plan to increase such outsourcing.

To ensure that the salaries truly reflect market averages, the University's Office of Human Resources - working with labor unions representing different groups of Princeton employees -- will update market data for all University administration and support staff job groups during this fiscal year.

With the pay adjustments, average salaries for jobs that were below 101 percent of the market average last year were increased by half the amount needed to close the gap. Employees who already earned 101 percent of the market average received an increase of one-half percent to their base salaries.

Contact: Marilyn Marks (609) 258-3601