WUSTL has successfully launched a new Universal Transit Pass program in cooperation with Metro, the region's public transportation system.
This important program, funded by the University, provides benefits-eligible University faculty and staff members, as well as full-time students and full-time employees of basic service contractors, with a Universal Transit Pass that allows free boarding of any Metro bus or train for travel throughout the region.
"This very beneficial and valuable program will lower the cost of transportation and reduce the environmental impact for many people who use Metro to come to campus each day," said John Klein, executive vice chancellor for administration.
The WUSTL community has enthusiastically adopted the program and almost 17,000 U-Passes have been issued since July 1. The popularity of the U-Pass program was summed up by one worker: "This pass is like putting money in my pocket. With the cost of gasoline and parking, being able to ride Metro free is a tremendous value," said K.C. Moore Jr., mail services carrier and operator.
As part of its ongoing initiative to provide competitive compensation for its lower-paid workers, the University has established $8.50 as its entry-level hourly wage for regularly scheduled employees, and now also requires that all basic service contractors pay an entry-level hourly wage of at least $8.50 per hour to all of their full-time campus workers. The requirement represents an increase from the entry-level hourly wage established in 2005 and will be fully implemented by Feb. 1, 2007.
In keeping with its commitment to improve access to affordable health care, WUSTL continues to help subsidize La Clinica, a community health clinic, for the costs associated with providing care for full-time basic service contractor employees who do not participate in an employer health insurance program.
"Washington University is committed to competitive compensation and access to affordable health care for its own employees and those of its basic service contractors," Klein said. "The University is recognized as a great place to work and could not realize the success it has without the dedication of University and contractor employees alike."
Earlier this year, WUSTL was named as one of the three "Best Places to Work" in the St. Louis region by the St. Louis Business Journal.