M&T Bank raises employee wages

The Buffalo-based bank chain announced Thursday it will be raising the starting hourly wage to $14 to $16 based on region. A bank spokesman said he couldn’t provide which pay rate Western New York employees would get or the company’s previous starting wage.

The raises will begin taking effect in February and will be fully phased in by mid-year.

Locally, Bank of America is paying a minimum hourly wage of $15.00

M&T is citing the “improvements in after-tax revenue” from the federal tax overhaul for the raise, which it says will be a $25 million investment once fully implemented.

The bank joins a list of more than a dozen companies, including Wal-Mart, Bank of America and Apple, that are pledging to invest federal tax savings in payroll.

The pledged raises also come at a time of low employment and rising minimum wages. The minimum wage for upstate New York increased from $9.70 to $10.40 at the end of 2017, and will continue to rise annually until hitting $12.50 at the start of 2021.

The company also pledged to begin offering employees 40 paid hours per year to participate in volunteer or employee group resource activities.

“At M&T, we have a long tradition of working to be the best bank we can be for our employees, customers and communities,” René F. Jones, M&T chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “The success of our company is driven by the vitality of the communities in which we operate and our team’s tireless commitment to excellence in all that they do. We are pleased to recognize our colleagues and our communities in a manner which will support sustainable growth and ultimately benefit our customers and shareholders.”

Panorama Hispano is the regional news and information newspaper for Hispanic and other diverse communities.

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