August 3, 2021
With the support of the Board of Regents, Morgan State University President David K. Wilson announced an end to the longtime practice of hiring contractual employees to augment the University’s workforce needs and heralded the conversion of eligible existing contractual employees to full-time with benefits. In addition to offering benefits to contractual employees, the University will also increase the minimum wage for all applicable hourly workers to $15 per hour and has increased the adjunct faculty pay to be more competitive in attracting and retaining high-quality instructors for courses at all levels. All of these measures come as the University seeks to address employee inequity in a profound and meaningful way at the state’s largest historically Black university.
The workforce-wide overhaul will provide benefits to approximately 60 eligible full-time employees who have never had employee benefits provided by Morgan and will increase the hourly wage for 66 regular employees. The wage increase becomes effective on Aug. 4; the contractual conversions will begin on Aug. 4 and conclude by the end of the current fiscal year.
“Our employees deserve to earn a living wage and have access to benefits that will enhance their quality of life; it’s the moral thing to do,” said President Wilson. “Coming from the apex of the pandemic, when many of our contractual employees were still showing up to work and serving on the front line to keep things going despite COVID’s impact on their own families, the workforce inequities were made clear, including those on our own campus. For Morgan to ascend to the next level of national prominence, our first order of business must be to make our Morgan family whole.”
Dependence on contractual employees has been a component of the University’s strategy to address its workforce needs for more than two decades. Contractual employees touch all major areas of Morgan’s operations, most prevalently within the physical plant and custodial services but also in the offices of a number of units throughout the University. These employees do not receive health benefits from the University or accumulate vacation days, however, and they are typically omitted from the State of Maryland’s cost of living increases.
Source: Morgan State University