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December 18, 2019

S. Windsor’s TicketNetwork to adopt $15 min. wage

PHOTO | Contributed TicketNetwork's South Windsor headquarters is on Gerber Road.

South Windsor-based TicketNetwork said it will increase its minimum hourly wage to $15, joining a growing list of Connecticut companies opting for the higher pay before the state minimum wage hits that level in 2023.

The increases, coupled with concurrent wage bumps for employees already making as much as $19 an hour, will benefit approximately 125 employees at an estimated annual cost of $250,000, according to the company, which acts as a marketplace for the resale of sports and events tickets.

"The state is eventually going to go there, and we believe by paying more that we absolutely get better quality people in and we get them more invested, not only in what they are supposed to do but in the company in general,” CEO and co-founder Donald Vaccaro said in an interview.

Connecticut’s minimum wage increased on Oct. 1 from $10.10 per hour to $11, and will jump by an additional dollar per year through 2023, when it will reach $15.

TicketNetwork employees who have been making less than $15 per hour are mainly call center staff and maintenance and kitchen employees, Vaccaro said.

HBJ Photo | Pablo Robles
Donald Vaccaro, founder of TicketNetwork, at his office in South Windsor in 2012.

“We knew from talking to those employees that it was an issue and they thought we should be paying more, and we agreed with them,” he said.

While TicketNetwork will give raises to all workers being paid less than $15 an hour, it will also raise wages for those a bit further up the pay scale, including administrative assistants who are mainly working in the company’s adjacent corporate offices.

Employees who make between $14.01 and $19 will all see a $1 increase in their hourly rate, the company said.

Part of the aim, Vaccaro said, is to increase the chances employees stay with the company, but he said he also has significant expectations of those making more money.

“Frankly, we want more out of them than another company would ask,” he said. “Some people just want to work a nine-to-five job and go home -- we’d rather not have that employee.”

In some instances, administrative workers or other staff who have proven valuable to the company have more than doubled their salaries in their first year or two, according to Vaccaro.

Several state lawmakers are expected to attend an event Wednesday at TicketNetwork’s Gerber Road East headquarters to mark the wage announcement.

The company is the latest employer in the area to announce pay increases ahead of schedule.

Hartford HealthCare and Middlesex Health each announced a $15 minimum wage for their employees early this year. Meanwhile, large national employers with Connecticut presences have also increased their wage floors, including Amazon, Bank of America and Target.

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