EDGARTOWN, Mass., June 1, 2015—For one hotel on Martha’s Vineyard, paying employees a livable minimum wage is considered simply a cost of doing business. Vineyard Square Hotel & Suites in Edgartown has adopted a $15 hourly minimum wage for its 2015 season for all of its employees. The hotel’s new policy raises its minimum wage above Massachusetts’ minimum wage by $6 an hour.
“In the national conversation around the minimum wage, we saw countless examples of people’s inability to live at $9 or $10 an hour,” said owner John J. McConnell, Jr. “We began to feel that if we couldn’t run the operation and pay people a living wage, we shouldn’t be running the operation.”
For the hotel’s management team, which depends on a staff known for the excellent service they provide, offering a better hourly wage is a very concrete way to show appreciation.
“It was a total surprise when we announced it to our staff,” said General Manager Wesley Doyle. “They were elated about it. We always say our staff is what makes us great, and with a $15 minimum wage, we feel that we returning the favor.”
In May 2014, the national hourly mean wage for both hotel desk clerks and housekeepers was around $10.70, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In Massachusetts, the hourly mean wage is higher at $13 for desk clerks and $12.71 for housekeepers; $15 minimum wage remains a significant increase.
“We hope that we’ll soon be joined by many, many more business, if not the entire nation,” McConnell added.
About Vineyard Square Hotel & Suites
Vineyard Square Hotel & Suites offers comfortable, upscale hotel rooms and six luxury suites in downtown Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard. The hotel’s namesake central square is also home to delicious dining, contemporary art, a spa, and live music on many summer weekends, all within a few steps of Edgartown’s Main Street. http://vineyardsquarehotel.com/
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