The living wage took effect Nov. 1, according to UofL President James Ramsey.

A living wage is generally described as the hourly wage an employer needs to pay employees so they can afford the  basic necessities of daily living, based on the cost of living in that community.  The UofL initiative is not a one-time raise, but rather a program that will be reviewed annually to make sure employees remain above the living wage threshold.

“Of course, many factors come into play when determining what is truly necessary,” Ramsey said. “But we are doing what we can to help the lowest-earning members of our UofL family.”

UofL is paying for the program with savings incurred through its health insurance program. The university is self-insured and offers a wellness program, Get Healthy Now, which promotes physical and mental fitness among its employees.

“Through strong management of our resources and thanks in part to the success of Get Healthy Now, we have been able to reallocate savings from our health insurance program to this important initiative – without raising insurance rates or cutting back on our employees’ health benefit,” Ramsey said.

Ramsey credited the university’s Faculty and Staff senates, the Commission on the Status of Women and the Commission on Diversity and Racial Equality for proposing the living wage effort “and for continuing to work on behalf of our faculty, staff and students.”

John Drees is a 35-year veteran in the Office of Communications and Marketing. As vice president, communications and marketing, he works closely with the president, provost and other senior administrators, oversees the Office of Communications and Marketing, including media relations, marketing and brand, broadcast, social media, internal communication, crisis communication, visitor services and special events and activities. A former sports editor for the Voice Newspapers, he was a regular contributor to a variety of publications, including the Kentucky Sports Report and the Courier-Journal. A poor but enthusiastic golfer, he is an avid Cardinal sports fan. He also loves the Detroit Lions, so pity him.