17,900 Walmart associates in New Jersey receive pay raise
TRENTON, N.J. — As part of the largest single-day, private-sector pay increase ever, more than 1.2 million Walmart and Sam’s Club associates in the U.S. – including more than 17,900 in the state of New Jersey – received a raise in their March 10 paycheck. The increases are a component of the company’s two-year, $2.7 billion investment in higher pay, better training, clearer career paths and additional educational opportunities for its workers.
Walmart associates are eligible for quarterly cash bonuses based on the performance of their store. For the full fiscal year, Walmart associates across the country earned more than $550 million in bonuses, including $12,367,903 in New Jersey. In addition to the higher wages, the March 10 paycheck for eligible New Jersey associates will include a share of the more than $3,624,000 in bonuses earned in the fourth quarter of the year alone.
“I’ve been with Walmart for 21 years, and these are the biggest changes I’ve ever seen,” said Heike Miller, an hourly associate at the West Berlin Store and a Camden County resident.
Walmart’s associate investment is about more than wages and benefits. It is designed to provide associates the skills, knowledge and tools they need to grow with the company and provide great customer service. The company is also creating new training programs, which will create clear career paths from entry-level positions to jobs with more responsibility and higher pay.
According to Devang Patel, an assistant manager at the Princeton store, the new offerings provide more options for associates looking to expand their careers.
“I joined Walmart because of the growth potential,” said Patel, who joined the company two years ago after a stint in marketing, and then earning an MBA in Finance from the University of Worcester in the United Kingdom. “Now, with the new pay and promotion structure, the opportunities are even greater.”
For Danniel Vivar, a support manager at Walmart’s Kearny store that started at the company as an overnight associate, the recently announced changes have had a profound effect.
“Morale has improved and our associates are feeling even more appreciated,” said Vivar, who joined Walmart two years ago. “We’re also quite proud that our customer services scores have been rising during the past several months.”
WAGES AND ADVANCEMENT
A job at Walmart means competitive pay for all associates. Last year, Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club promoted more than 200,000 associates, including 4,328 in New Jersey, to jobs with higher pay and more responsibility. In addition, more than 150,000 associates, including 1,947 in New Jersey, were converted from part-time to full-time. As part of this month’s pay changes:
· All associates hired before Jan. 1, 2016 will earn at least $10/hour.
o New entry-level associates hired after Jan. 1 will continue to start at $9/hour and will move to at least $10/hour after successfully completing Pathways, the company’s new retail skills and training program.
o The new full-time average wage for New Jersey’s Walmart associates is $13.83 per hour.
· Associates already earning more than $10/hour will see their annual pay increase starting in March rather than waiting until their anniversary date.
· Walmart is raising the starting rate of its non-entry level hourly pay bands. Anyone earning below the new minimum will automatically move up to the new minimum.
· Associates at or above their pay band maximum will receive a one-time, lump sum payment equal to 2 percent of their annual pay.
Walmart in New Jersey
Walmart’s local investment goes beyond the company’s recent pay raises. In New Jersey, the company:
· Operates 70 retail units.
· Spent $9.5 billion with local suppliers, supporting 44,827 supplier jobs in fiscal year 2015.
· Paid more than $65.2 million in taxes and collected more than $150.2 million in sales taxes in fiscal year 2015.
This associate investment was taken into account in the financial outlook discussed last October at the company’s annual analyst meeting.