One of Alabama’s largest employers is increasing its minimum wage to $11 an hour, officials say. The decision was made before a contentious minimum wage fight between city and state lawmakers.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham made this decision in January, long before Birmingham City Council and the Alabama Legislature fought over the city’s choice to raise its minimum wage. That battle ended with a new state law banning cities from changing their minimum wage.
UAB officials say they raised the minimum for hourly employees to keep pace with other organizations that can offer more money to potential hires.
“It was making it difficult for us to get the best talent for our entry-level positions, and then keep them,” says Alicia Jones, UAB Chief Human Resources Officer. The increase will cost the school a total of $391,000, she says.
The increase takes effect March 20, for roughly 1,100 university employees. The increase does not affect part-time student workers, Jones says. UAB’s current minimum of $8.24 an hour is already higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.