In recent weeks, a group of students has voiced its concerns over the process of hiring employees for the new Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore. There has been much misinformation spread during this time, which we and RJ Julia management have attempted to clarify.

One of the main concerns was the salary rate of employees of the new bookstore. Salary levels were determined after closely reviewing industry standards.  In many instances, the bookstore’s salaries would have exceeded the national average. Nonetheless, upon further consideration, we have come to agree that a $12 minimum hourly rate would be more consistent with Wesleyan’s values and policies. For full-time employees at RJ Julia and grown, this could total the equivalent of $15 an hour with benefits. In fact, the majority of full-time workers at the bookstore will earn significantly more, based on their positions.

The students also expressed concern that not all current employees of Broad Street Books would have positions at the new bookstore. RJ Julia, as a small independent business, operates differently from Broad Street Books with its corporate partner Follett. Thus, all the equivalent positions will not exist at the new bookstore. However, we invite any Broad Street employee who is looking for a new job to meet with Wesleyan Human Resources for assistance.

I am grateful to RJ Julia and grown for partnering with us, and for their hard work in getting everything up and running these past few months.  I’m excited for the opening of this great new cultural destination for the Wesleyan and greater Middletown communities and for the possibilities of even deeper connections between the two.

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