Bowdoin College announced Wednesday that it will increase its minimum wage rate for benefits-eligible hourly workers from $15.50 to $17 an hour, effective Aug 30. The increase will be accompanied by related compensation adjustments for virtually all of the more than 330 support staff currently working at the college who will also see their paychecks increase, according to a statement from Bowdoin

The move to $17 an hour comes ten months ahead of the schedule for wage increases announced by the college in October 2019, when the minimum wage at Bowdoin was $12.65 an hour and the minimum wage in Maine was $11 an hour. Since then, Bowdoin increased its minimum to $14 on July 1, 2020, to $15.50 on July 1, 2021, and was scheduled to move to $17 on July 1, 2022.

The state’s minimum wage is now $12.15 an hour.

“This accelerated timetable for increasing Bowdoin’s minimum hiring rate to $17 reflects rapidly changing labor conditions in Maine and Bowdoin’s commitment to remaining a leader in wages and benefits in Maine,” said Matt Orlando, Bowdoin’s senior vice president for finance and administration and treasurer, in a statement.

According to Orlando, the accelerated increase in the minimum wage and compression raises at Bowdoin are meant to attract new workers and to reward those who have remained with the college throughout the pandemic.

“When combined with a benefits package that is among the very best in Maine, the higher hourly rates are expected to draw more interest from job seekers in the region,” said Orlando. “The higher rates also recognize the essential work performed by the support staff who are here with us now. This is an investment in these individuals and the skills and experience each of them brings to campus every day.”

This story was updated Aug. 26, 2021 to correct the date in which the minimum wage change goes into effect.

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