Rising revenues fuel minimum wage hike at Oregon Community Credit Union

Oregon Community Credit Union in Eugene has raised its minimum wage, joining a growing number of credit unions that have embraced starting pay above federal- or state-mandated minimums.

The $2.3 billion-asset OCCU implemented a $15 per hour minimum wage, effective Jan. 1, that more than doubles the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour and surpasses Oregon’s $13.25 hourly minimum. All employees who were making less than $15 per hour received the boost.

A number of credit unions across the country have boosted their entry-level wages in recent years, though $15 per hour is still the exception rather than the rule across the industry. Some large banks, including Bank of America and Fifth Third, have also announced plans to raise their minimum wage in recent years. In 2019, House Democrats approved a bill raising the federal minimum to $15 per hour, but that was before the pandemic and economic downturn, and it’s unclear whether that will be a priority moving forward in the current Congress.

“Providing a minimum wage of $15 an hour and robust benefits helps to ensure that our employees are able to earn livable wages,” President and CEO Ron Neumann said in a press release. “We wholeheartedly support communitywide advocacy efforts to bring more job opportunities with livable wages to our community and hope this move will set an example for other businesses.”

Call report data from the National Credit Union Administration shows OCCU earned $18.7 million during the first three quarters of 2020, the most recent information available, a 27% lift from the same period in 2019, driven in part by an $11 million (46%) lift in noninterest income and rising interest income.

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