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UT Increasing Minimum Starting Pay Rate to $9.50 an Hour with Phased Approach that Starts Jan. 1

December 03, 2013

KNOXVILLE – The University of Tennessee will increase its minimum starting pay rate to $9.50 an hour for all regular full- and part-time employees, effective June 30, 2014.

The University’s minimum starting pay rate is currently $8.50 an hour. That rate increases to $9 an hour on Jan. 1, and to $9.50 an hour, effective June 30, 2014. UT campuses and institutes are reallocating existing funds to cover initial costs associated with the increase, estimated to total about $273,000.

The increase was recommended by UT’s Compensation Advisory Board and will impact approximately 223 current employees working across the state.

“We’re committed as a University System to offering competitive compensation to our diverse and dedicated workforce,” said UT President Joe DiPietro. “With the help of our Compensation Advisory Board, we’re making steady progress toward our compensation goals, especially those affecting positions at the lower pay grades, despite limited resources.”

The University created its Compensation Advisory Board in 2010 to help guide UT’s compensation philosophy, structure and programs, and to create a strategic compensation plan that ensures sustainable growth and competitive advantage.

In 2011, the Compensation Advisory Board, or CAB, made its first recommendation to increase UT’s minimum starting pay rate—then $7.50 an hour—to $8.50 an hour. That group subsequently has:

  • Rewritten UT’s compensation philosophy
  • Hired a nationally recognized firm to conduct a market assessment of pay and benefits
  • Created compensation plans at each campus and institute
  • Reviewed and updated compensation-related policies, procedures and practices
  • Formed workgroups focusing on different aspects of compensation and benefits
  • Developed Employer of Choice models at each campus and institute with emphasis on recognizing and rewarding significant workplace contribution
  • Reviewed and recommended faculty incentive plans for external grant funding

“The work of our advisory board continues to drive decisions about UT’s compensation, benefits programs and work culture that are positioning the University to better attract, reward and retain top performers,” said Richard Brown, chair of CAB and executive vice chancellor for finance and operations at UT Chattanooga. “Ongoing priorities include remaining market gaps, healthy initiatives and career ladder programs, among others, and I am honored to contribute to such important initiatives.”

Additional communication and supervisory training efforts are in progress to support effective implementation of the minimum pay rate increase.

For more information, visit http://humanresources.tennessee.edu/cab/.

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Contacts:
Gina Stafford, (865) 974-0741, stafford@tennessee.edu
Ellie Amador, (865) 974-1177, amador@tennessee.edu