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College Committee Proposes Living Wage of $24,500

Over recent months students at St. Mary’s College of Maryland have rallied for action by the administration over the salaries of some of the least-paid workers on their campus, even staging a sit-in at the president’s office over several days. The issue was brought to the forefront by the announcement of recent raises, which for some of the highest earning employees were as much as $30,000.

In response to the students’ concerns and activism during this fall semester the college formed a “Subcommittee on the Living Wage,” which produced the following summary and proposal:

“After several meetings, two open forums, and considerable study, the committee members put forth six different recommendations that might inform a living wage. Various methodologies were used and no consensus position emerged. Ultimately, the committee agreed to proceed without adopting a formula or definition of a living wage. By a majority vote (8 for and 2 against) the committee agreed to propose a new entry level wage of $24,500 (11.78 per hour). This wage is comparative to the upper quartile of the living wage communities.

“The College’s compensation program adopted by the Board of Trustees on September 22, 2000 is designed to provide a salary and benefits structure for faculty and staff that is competitive in the local or the national marketplace with midpoint benchmarking of salaries by position. The program is based upon a regular review of comparative compensation data for employee positions which are deemed to be either local or national.

“The College is further committed to provide an outstanding benefits package and an ongoing review and implementation of improvements to its total compensation package.”

The college’s Strategic Planning Commission voted in favor of that proposal in a 12-2-0 vote. The proposal will now be forwarded to President Maggie O’Brien, before it goes before the Finance, Investment and Audit Committee of the Board of Trustees.

Read about the issue and previous developments here, here, and here.

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