Duke to increase employee minimum wage to $18 per hour effective July 1

In a move that is expected to increase the wages of more than 900 staff members, Duke raised its minimum wage from $17 to $18 per hour for all eligible employees and full-time contract workers effective July 1. 

The minimum wage increase will apply to all regular and full-time contract staff at the University and the Duke University Health System. The student minimum wage will remain at $15.75 per hour. The federal and North Carolina minimum wages are $7.25 per hour.

According to Antwan Lofton, vice president of human resources, this most recent adjustment reflects a 50% increase in Duke’s minimum wage since 2015, when it was raised from $12 to $13 per hour. The University raised its minimum wage to $14 per hour in 2018, $15 per hour in 2019 and $17 per hour in 2022. 

“The increase to the minimum wage is part of Duke’s annual review of the competitive market, and we make adjustments as needed during budget cycles to attract and retain the talent to support Duke’s missions,” Lofton wrote to The Chronicle. “While the positions receiving an adjustment are distributed across many departments, more than half of them work in Duke University Health System.”

Based on the agreements made by their unions, positions covered under collective bargaining agreements are also eligible for the pay increase.

Duke will continue to review its pay ranges and make adjustments as needed, Lofton said.

Duke is the largest private employer in Durham and has been named as one of the best places to work in the country by several publications, including Newsweek, Forbes and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

“This adjustment is part of Duke’s total compensation package that includes pay, as well as Duke’s continued investment in benefits such as health insurance, retirement and paid time away that have made Duke one of the best places to work in the country,” Lofton said.

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Abby Spiller is a Trinity junior and editor-in-chief of The Chronicle's 120th volume.


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