LMU’s lowest-paid staff will receive pay increases above and beyond their annual merit increases this year, following the results of a comprehensive compensation study conducted over the summer by Human Resources. While LMU’s overall compensation rates were found to be competitive with employers in the Southern California region, HR recommended several categories for strategic increases, with special attention on Facilities Management workers.
The base compensation plus health care benefits for LMU’s lowest–paid workers’ living wage will be more than $25 per hour in October, reflecting the university’s commitment to its colleagues and exceeding the amount set by the city of Los Angeles’ Living Wage Ordinance. Though living wage definitions vary, many standards are calculated by combining base compensation with employer-paid health care benefits. This October’s increases will bring FM workers and other lower-paid colleagues across the university to at least $19.15 per hour in base compensation. The university also calculates its contributions toward health care to be worth an average of $6.37 per hour, bringing the university’s living wage for its lowest paid workers to $25.52 per hour. These staff members will receive significant equity increases beyond their annual merit increases in October. Also, our living wage calculations do not include the value of the many other university-paid benefits, including dental, vision, life insurance, paid holidays, sick leave, vacation, tuition remission, etc.
This study, which was announced last spring, and resultant pay adjustments are regular processes that HR undertakes every two to three years to ensure LMU remains competitive in the marketplace and to retain and recruit the best staff. These evaluations consider economic realities, the competitive employment marketplace, and external research on living wages, alongside the university’s finances, benefit offerings, and fiscal planning for our future. The result is a comprehensive analysis of LMU’s pay structure that allows for careful consideration of pay equity and other concerns.
Across the country, inflation and other economic pressures have taken their toll on individuals, families, and institutions, including LMU. The impact has been particularly acute in Southern California, where our higher costs of living are reflected in what we spend on everyday expenses such as gas and housing. As HR works to ensure faculty and staff are paid competitively, the university recognizes that we are funded by tuition revenue. As stewards of a nonprofit institution and reflective of our shared values and mission, the university always balances the competing needs of student financial aid, the costs associated with the educational experience we provide, inflationary pressures, and many other funding priorities. These processes and obligations require careful consideration and an understanding that our financial resources are all interconnected. Expenses are paid by our tuition revenues, and tuition is paid by our students and their families.
As the university increases wages for its lower-paid colleagues, it is proud to continue offering robust benefits for all faculty and staff, including:
- All full-time employees are eligible for health care coverage, and employees whose compensation is toward the lower end of the scale pay lower premiums compared with those who earn more.
- Employees are eligible for full tuition remission for themselves and their families.
- LMU’s 403(b) retirement plan is available to all full-time employees, who become 100% vested immediately and can earn a generous 9.5 percent match against their contributions.
- LMU’s comprehensive benefits package also includes dental, vision, long-term disability insurance, life insurance, AD&D insurance, wellness programs, a generous paid holiday schedule, paid vacation and sick leave, employee assistance programs, and discounted rates when employees opt into group auto and home insurance, group legal benefits, critical illness coverage, pet insurance, and hospital indemnity benefits.