Duke to Increase Minimum Wage

New $13 per hour rate effective Jan. 2017

Effective Jan. 1, 2017, Duke University and Health System will increase its minimum wage to $13 per hour for all regular staff, those who work at least 20 hours per week and 36 weeks per year.

Duke’s current minimum wage of $12 was last adjusted in July 2015.

This will be the second increase in Duke’s minimum wage within the last two years.

“The $13 minimum wage represents a 19.2 percent increase from the minimum rate just two years ago,” said Kyle Cavanaugh, vice president for administration.

Duke’s new rate also well exceeds the federal and state minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

“The new $13 per hour minimum wage, combined with the area’s low cost of living and our comprehensive benefits plan that includes health insurance, retirement, paid time off and financial security benefits, reflects Duke’s commitment to being a leading employer in the area of total compensation,” he added.

According to recent a Pew Research study, Durham already has one of the highest weekly wage rates in the country when taking into consideration variations in cost of living. In the study, Durham ranked sixth among 381 metropolitan areas across the U.S. for top wage rates in terms of purchasing power of the dollar.

Duke is the largest private employer in Durham, and the adjustment in January will result in a pay increase for more than 1,200 current employees. Positions that are covered under a collective bargaining agreement will be addressed under the provision of the contract. 

The change will also apply to contractors who employ individuals working on Duke’s campus.  All contractors will be expected to move their full-time employees on campus to the new Duke minimum wage by July 1, 2017.

“We review all of our pay ranges annually relative to the local and national markets,” Cavanaugh said. “We will make adjustments as needed based on those assessments.”