Low Wages, Insurance Changes Cause Concern Among Employees

By Phoebe Doscher

February 29, 2020

Forty-five percent of Gettysburg College support staff earn less than $15 an hour, a 2017 survey found. That same year, an analysis by Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers found that the living wage for a family of four with two wage earners and two children in Adams County was $15.53 per hour.

Employees have long viewed the College’s benefits package, which includes tuition benefits for dependents, as at least providing a reasonable trade-off, if not outweighting low wages entirely. But, with those benefits now under the microscope as the college looks to contain costs, concern about employee compensation has grown more acute.

In Sep. 2019, President Bob Iuliano convened a sub-committee of the Benefits Advisory Committee (BAC) to gather data about employee compensation relative to the local market. Specifically, he charged the sub-committee to:

  • Find reliable total compensation data (wage and benefits) provided to the lowest paid support staff, focusing on the most populated job classifications
  • Compare Gettysburg’s pay and total compensation to the local markets from which support staff are hired most often
  • Collect information about the area’s cost of living
  • Compare support staff compensation practices to that of administrative personnel to examine whether they maintain consistent philosophies

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