Morgan State University (MSU) announced changes to its employee wages, including implementing a $15 minimum wage for hourly workers.
The changes, which went into effect earlier this month, will also convert contract employees to full-time wages with benefits. The university will also increase the adjunct faculty pay to attract and retain high-quality instructors for courses at all levels.
The new measures will provide benefits to 60 full-time employees who have never had benefits provided by MSU. The hourly increase will also put more money in the pockets of about 70-hourly workers.
“Our employees deserve to earn a living wage and have access to benefits that will enhance their quality of life; it’s the moral thing to do,” Morgan State University President David K. Wilson said in a release. “Coming from the apex of the pandemic, when many of our contractual employees were still showing up to work and serving on the front line to keep things going despite COVID’s impact on their own families, the workforce inequities were made clear, including those on our own campus. For Morgan to ascend to the next level of national prominence, our first order of business must be to make our Morgan family whole.”
Contractual employees at MSU touch all areas of the operations at MSU, including the physical plant, custodial services, and many of the offices throughout the university. Previously, contractual employees did not receive health benefits or accumulate vacation days. These employees are also typically omitted from the State of Maryland’s cost of living adjustments.
MSU has made other moves in the past to support its employees, including tuition remission, university-provided cost of living increases, and paid time off during occasions when MSU is closed, and working is not an option.
“We’ve worked with Morgan State to address long-standing inequities in pay and benefits for our members. Under President Wilson’s leadership, our partnership is taking a giant step forward,” said Patrick Moran, president of AFSCME Council 3, the union for MSU employees. “This Board of Regents action recognizes the hard work of frontline staff at Morgan State and is a testament to collaboration and visionary leadership.”
On top of the changes already announced, President Wilson has also approved a new pay scale for MSU faculty teaching part-time. The new, simplified scale will make MSU more competitive with other universities in the area and enhance MSUs ability to recruit and retain high-quality instructional talent.