New $15-an-hour staff minimum wage; Retirement Plan A Update

To Our Faculty and Staff,

Earlier this spring, we shared that Case Western Reserve will resume annual salary increases and Retirement Plan A contributions for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2021. 

Today we are pleased to announce another change to compensation starting in the next fiscal year (July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022): adoption of a $15 per hour minimum wage for university staff.

Finally, we have determined that our financial condition for this current fiscal year will allow us to restore six months of university contributions to Retirement Plan A (e.g., for the period from Jan. 1, 2021, through June 30, 2021). This restoration represents a commitment of nearly $10 million to employees eligible for this benefit. We have long said that we would update the community by mid-May regarding whether any restoration would be possible, and are glad to be able to provide this positive news now.

That we are able to take these steps now is a testament to the dedication that you have demonstrated over the past 14 months. Amid the worst pandemic in a century, you continued to serve our students and advance research in remarkable ways.  

COVID-19’s global spread caused enormous financial dislocations in all sectors of our economy—and Case Western Reserve was not spared. Since March 2020, the university’s lost revenues and increased expenses together had an adverse budget impact of more than $65 million. Fortunately, CWRU adopted several measures to reduce expenses last spring; that planning, coupled with federal awards that offset some pandemic costs, have allowed us to take these positive steps now. 

Our Office of Human Resources is working now on the details of how best to implement the retroactive restoration of Retirement Plan A. The department will update eligible employees regarding the timing and nature of that process as soon as those details are final.

Despite the obstacles we have confronted over the past 14 months, we are able to look forward to the coming year with great hope. We thank all of you for your extraordinary commitment to our campus community.

Scott Cowen 
Interim President

Ben Vinson III
Provost and Executive Vice President