The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) has announced a major adjustment in its wage scales for nearly 800 employees – approximately 43% of its entire workforce. These employees are frontline staff working in animal care and positions supporting the Laboratory’s research, administration and operations. With the exception of employees in their first six months of training, JAX is increasing its lowest wage for full-time, frontline employees to $15.00 per hour. JAX’s total increase in payroll to effect these hourly wage changes will be $3.8 million annually.
JAX has long recognized that employees are its greatest asset and is proud to be a leader in recognizing and rewarding hourly workers. This increase in wage scales rewards their improved productivity and increased contribution to the Laboratory’s success. It reflects JAX’s understanding of the importance of these roles and both the board’s and management’s on-going commitment to reward the entire laboratory workforce fairly and appropriately.
Keen focus by both managers and hourly workers on improving and streamlining protocols, processes, and procedures along with a great deal of hard work and sustained effort led to the improved productivity JAX is rewarding. JAX is also committed to team member education and development: all new employees start with a thorough orientation as well as JAX-provided courses in animal care and genetics. In addition, all new animal care employees work with a trainer in a training room for up to four months. JAX employees are eligible for reimbursement of college and graduate courses completed and many gain knowledge and skills through this avenue as well.
JAX also anticipates that the increase in its wage scales will help ensure employee retention as well as assist in attracting and hiring committed new employees as the Laboratory grows and prospers in Maine, Connecticut, and California. Due to its growth, JAX has more than 250 open positions across its three campuses and is committed to maintaining its leadership position as an employer of choice in local, state and national labor markets.
The Laboratory recognizes and thanks its many colleagues who work in hourly positions for all that they do to make JAX the premier global provider of mice and mouse-related research services. No other organization provides as great a diversity of research models, as healthy research models, or as genetically stable research models. We couldn’t do it without the care and effort that these 800 individuals put into JAX’s mission and their work every day.
Charles E. Hewett, Ph.D., served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of The Jackson Laboratory.