University of Kentucky outlines plan for staff pay raises, bonuses, new benefits

Published 5:50 am Sunday, May 23, 2021

Some University of Kentucky employees would receive paid family leave, retirement contributions, salary increases and $1,000 bonuses under a proposal unveiled by the school’s president.

In a recent campus-wide email, UK President Eli Capilouto outlined the budget changes that would apply to staff members, media outlets reported. Faculty would be eligible for some of the benefits while UK HealthCare employees’ pay is set through a separate process.

The plan requires Board of Trustees approval.

The raises and benefits changes come a year after the state’s flagship university cut its retirement contributions and instituted furloughs and layoffs after COVID-related shutdowns led to drops in revenue and a $72 million shortfall, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

Under the plan, the minimum hourly pay for regular employees would increase from $12.50 to $13.75 on July 1 before hitting $15 on Jan. 1, 2022. Most staff would get two weeks of paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child and one week of paid leave to care for an ill parent.

Merit increases of 2% would begin Jan. 1. Faculty and staff (who were hired by Dec. 31) would get $1,000 bonuses in July. The plan includes an expected resumption of UK’s 10% retirement contribution starting July 1.