NewsCovering Kentucky


UK raises starting pay, makes benefit changes

Posted at 10:38 AM, Dec 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-19 10:38:51-05

THE PAY INCREASE WILL BE THE SECOND TIME IN THE LAST FOUR YEARS — The University of Kentucky announced Thursday that they will raise the starting wage for regular employees from $10.40 an hour to $12.50.

President Eli Capilouto said the decision was made because "it's the right thing to do."

“We have a wonderful team of employees that makes possible an incredible dream,” Capilouto said. “And we want to be competitive and lead the market to attract the very best people.”

The pay increase will be the second time in the last four years that UK has raised starting wages. The new wage will begin July 1, 2020.

Thursday’s announcement, however, was only one part of a comprehensive package of changes that Capilouto announced, designed to better support employees, increase their financial well-being and expand their capacity to care for their families away from the workplace.

Other changes include:

  • Beginning in January 2020, UK staff employees will be able to use up to 12 weeks of accrued sick time for parental leave for childbirth, adoption or foster care (currently, employees can use six or eight weeks of sick time; additional leave must be from accrued vacation leave).
  • Also beginning in January 2020, staff employees will be able to use up to two sick days per year for personal well-being (currently, such time can only be used for illness or injury, or to care for a family member). These changes apply only to staff. Faculty sick leave is managed differently.
  • Beginning July 1, 2020, pending Board of Trustees approval, all new eligible employees will participate in the UK matching retirement savings plan. In that savings plan, employees contribute 5% of their salary, and UK matches with 10% (currently, employees under the age of 30 are eligible, but not required, to participate). By including all new eligible employees, individuals who join UK early in their careers and stay for a long period of time will have the opportunity to earn several hundred thousand dollars for the duration of their work at UK.