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SLU Implements Bonuses for Essential Workers and Those Earning Less Than $125,000

May 21, 2021

Dear colleagues, 

This week, SLU’s academic year — one like no other — comes to its arduous, but fruitful conclusion. Our extraordinary success, one that many thought impossible when the academic began, is real. We made it, thanks to your hard work, commitment, caring and sacrifice. 

Faculty and staff gave up their University retirement match. Travel budgets were relinquished. Salaries among SLUCare physicians and University leaders were reduced. Essential staff, such as our frontline SLUCare workers, our housekeepers, custodial and maintenance staff, our grounds crews, DPS officers, ITS professionals and our Library staff, came to campus for their shifts every single day, even as the disease spread across our city. 

And here we are today, celebrating what many other universities cannot — a full academic year of working and learning together on campus and in community. Further, we are experiencing tremendous relief that the enormous budget deficits and thousands of job layoffs experienced at other institutions — and that we had feared — did not occur at SLU. 

The even bigger surprise is that we will end the fiscal year with a small budget surplus, something we hadn’t anticipated as recently as just a few months ago. University leaders have agreed to apply much of that surplus to say thank you to our lower-paid faculty and staff. 

At the end of June, the University will distribute one-time, year-end bonuses to more than 3,300 members of our faculty and staff. In addition, I have asked our team to work with the union representatives of our bargaining units — housekeepers, groundskeepers, delivery staff, maintenance staff and adjunct faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences and School of Education — to seek their agreement on these new awards, as well to ensure all eligible full-time employees share in this well-deserved bonus.  

Here’s how this will work: 

We all agree that this has been the most challenging 15 months on campus that any of us has ever experienced. And hopefully never will again. 

You rose to the many challenges that could not have been met without your unfailing determination, patience, teamwork and grace as One SLU. 

These year-end bonuses are one way the University shows its gratitude for what you have done in the face of the past year’s adversity. 

Wishing you a joyous and restorative summer, 

Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D.
President