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Eastern Kentucky University employees will receive an across-the-board salary increase of 2.5 percent, effective Nov. 1, President Michael Benson announced today.

The increase, for all full-time and part-time benefited employees, applies to staff members who were employed on or before Aug. 1, 2015, and for faculty who were employed on or before Aug. 15, 2015. It will be reflected in biweekly and semimonthly paychecks in mid-November.

The last such increase for EKU employees, also 2.5 percent, was announced shortly after Benson became president in 2013. Prior to that increase, employees had received no raises for three years before 2 percent hikes in 2010-11 and 2011-12.

“In our two short years in Richmond,” Benson said in a campus-wide e-mail, “I have shared with you many times my fondness for Eastern Kentucky University, often within the context of the three P’s: People, Places and Programs. The fact that ‘people’ come first in that sequence is deliberate. While facilities are important and the quality of our academic programs critical, it is our people who constitute our greatest asset. Their diverse skills and talents make our campus so special. With that in mind, we have from the outset prioritized compensation, albeit within the framework of constrained resources and reduced state funding. This significant increase, an additional investment by the University of $3 million, including benefits, is another step in our continuing efforts to ensure that our salaries are competitive with comparable institutions across the Commonwealth.”

Including this increase, the University has in the past two years alone earmarked more than $11.4 million for additional salary enhancements and benefits, including an internal pay equity program and other initiatives.