SUNY Raises Minimum Wage For Students

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Student employees at SUNY New Paltz have a bit more cash coming their way following a new SUNY-wide raise to its minimum wage.

Effective Jan. 28, students employed by the Work Study and Student Assistant programs on campus will receive an increased pay rate of $9.75 per hour – 75 cents more than the statewide minimum. According to Vice President of Budget Julie Walsh, this change affects 524 student workers on campus and is expected to cost the college $77,000 for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

This change comes as Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues to push for a $15 minimum wage for all New York workers. At a Jan. 4 rally in Midtown, Cuomo reinforced this idea as a positive change to the lives of New Yorkers.

“This state thrives when every New Yorker has the opportunity and the ability to succeed. Yet the truth is that today’s minimum wage still leaves far too many people behind,” Cuomo said at the rally. “This year, we are going to change that. We are going to raise the minimum wage to bring economic opportunity back to millions of hardworking New Yorkers and lead the nation in the fight for fair pay.”

These notions prompted the SUNY Board of Trustees to pass a resolution at the end of January that would increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour for all non-union public university workers by July 2021. The first step toward this was the most recent increase to $9.75.

This SUNY-wide wage increase affects over 28,000 workers among the state university system – 1,188 of which are in the Mid-Hudson Valley. SUNY officials project a near $28 million price tag for the public university system to meet a $15 minimum wage for its workers by 2021.

In a press release, SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall said that this step toward higher wages for SUNY workers is an accomplishment for the public university system.

“The State University of New York is proud to ensure that anyone working on a state-operated SUNY campus continues to be paid at least minimum wage, including all full-time staff as well as students participating in work study programs,” McCall said. “We look forward to joining Governor Cuomo in setting a model for state entities and public university systems across the country.”

About Kristen Warfield 72 Articles
Kristen is a fourth-year journalism major and editor-in-chief of The Oracle.