Verve is giving its assistants and mailroom employees a 25%-40% pay raise in response to #PayUpHollywood – the first known pay hikes tied directly to the movement since it was launched in October. Verve’s move comes after it conducted an internal survey last month, which also prompted the talent agency to shorten working hours, effective January 1.
“Verve conducted an internal survey last month in response to the #PayUpHollywood hashtag that went viral in October,” the talent agency said. “As a result of the survey, Verve announced a series of changes designed to recognize valuable work contribution while helping to meet the financial standard necessary to live in today’s Los Angeles. The series of changes includes a pay increase for all mailroom employees and assistants. Depending on the position, hourly rates will increase between 25%-40%. Verve is also adjusting its working hours as the survey resulted in an overwhelm response in favor of a shortened day.” Read the survey questions and results here.
Beginning in the New Year, Verve’s mailroom workers will be paid $17.50 an hour; assistants will be paid $18.50, and experienced assistants $20.
The agency said in an email to its staff:
“At Verve, our mission is to listen to our clients and share their voice in the creative community,” Today, we are listening to you. Thank you for sharing your candid thoughts in last month’s internal survey. Based on your input, we are excited to announce a series of changes designed to recognize your valuable work contributions while helping you meet the financial standard necessary to live in today’s Los Angeles.
“It starts with a pay increase for all mailroom employees and assistants. Depending on the position, your hourly rate will increase between 25 – 40%. Second, as a result of the overwhelming response in favor of a shortened day, we are adjusting the working hours at Verve from 8:30am – 7:30pm, to 9am – 7pm. Anybody required to work beyond those hours will continue to receive additional overtime pay.”
Verve also said that it’s maintaining the agencies’ standard two hours of pay that assistants already receive for script reading over the weekend. “Our survey showed this to be an extremely popular incentive – an employee perk that is both consistent with the value we as an agency place on the written word, and something that is unique to Verve.”
It’s also opting for a casual attire day on Fridays. “While we will continue to wear business attire from Monday through Thursday, in the new year we will offer a subsidized, in-office ‘drop off and deliver’ dry cleaning program, and Fridays will become a business casual day.”
A #PayUpHollywood survey found that industrywide, more than 64% of respondents said they were are paid less than $50,000 a year, with nearly 11% reporting that they made less than $30,000. The movement was started by writer/activist Liz Alper, who’s also a member of the WGA West board of directors.