ORNL Federal Credit Union (ORNL FCU) recently announced that it will increase the starting wage for new and existing employees to $15.00 per hour effective Sunday, May 2, 2021. After implementation, no ORNL FCU employee will earn less than $15.00 per hour.
During its 2021 budgeting process, the Credit Union’s leadership team considered a variety of options to increase the starting wage, including a phased-in approach. The consensus was that a one-time adjustment would be best, taking more than 250 impacted employees to the higher starting wage immediately.
According to Colin Anderson, ORNL FCU President & CEO, “employees are central to the success of ORNL FCU and a higher starting wage is consistent with our core belief of putting people before profits.”
The $15.00 starting minimum wage fits into the organization’s new operating model and ensures all employees are earning a living wage. In combination with other employee benefits (insurance, 401(k), PTO, etc.), the Credit Union is considered a leader in total compensation per employee.
“Increasing the minimum starting wage is simply the right thing to do for employees and for the Credit Union,” said Anderson. “As a progressive and responsible employer of choice, we have always strived to attract engaged and talented people who embody our core beliefs. The increased wage will allow us to not only continue to attract these passionate people, but retain them.”
Upon learning of the news, ORNL FCU employees were overwhelmed by management’s decision to increase the starting wage. “I know I don’t just speak for myself when I say thank you [to the ORNL FCU Board and leadership team] for implementing this change,” said Makayla Cinnamon, Interactive Teller at the Credit Union. “I have been with this company since 2019 and have continuously seen this organization be on the right side of history while truly valuing the core belief of people before profits. I’m so grateful to be working for a company that consistently leads by example.”