LEWISBURG — Bucknell University set a new minimum hourly wage of $15 for qualifying employees, announced $5,000 one-time pandemic bonuses to all eligible workers and added Juneteenth to its regular calendar of holidays.
The rate hike applies to benefits-eligible, non-exempt employees — those scheduled to work at least 1,000 hours annually — with at least one year of service by November 2022, Bucknell President John Bravman announced Monday.
The new rate goes into effect Nov. 15 and will be reflected in payslips on Dec. 2. University spokesman Mike Ferlazzo said 112 employees would be affected directly.
“We want to reward the critical roles our hourly staff plays in the overall success of the institution by providing them a more adequate pay rate for the valuable work they perform,” Bravman said during Bucknell’s Employee Celebration event.
The university’s current minimum hourly pay rate is $12.60 while the current federal and state minimum wage is $7.25 hourly.
Anyone hired after Nov. 15 into qualifying positions will begin at $14.50 hourly and reach the new minimum next year. Employees with one year of service or less on July 1, 2021, will still receive $14.75 hourly and increase to $15 within one year.
The rate hike doesn’t apply to employees hired to casual positions as well as contingent workers who are employed by other companies including those with dining services, the golf club and the Barnes & Noble university bookstore.
However, Bucknell is in active talks with dining services employer Parkhurst Dining as well as Geisinger and Evangelical hospitals, who provide student health care services, to provide monetary recognition.
Other good news for employees: Health benefits will remain unchanged in 2022.
Also, an extended winter break returns this year, with operations reduced beginning Dec. 20. Full-on operations resume on Jan. 3. Non-exempt employees who must work over this period will be paid a premium rate.
The one-time COVID-19 bonuses will be paid in the next payslips to full-time Bucknell employees who worked between March 23, 2020, and June 30, 2021. The employees must still work at the university and must have clocked more than 80 hours over the qualifying span. Prorated bonuses will be paid to eligible employees who worked less than full-time.
Juneteenth National Independence Day is celebrated June 19. It’s the traditional day commemorating the emancipation of African Americans from slavery in the U.S. It was established last spring as a new federal holiday.
The holiday is added to Bucknell’s holiday calendar for 2022. Details about the university’s observance are pending.