As of March 1, 1997, all freshmen student workers on-campus, which includes work study and non, had their wages increased. These students who were being paid $4.75 per hour received a raise to $5 per hour. This was to comply with the new national minimum wage standard that was put into effect this month. Although the freshmen automatically received this increase, sophomores, juniors and seniors did not.
Each academic year, students who continue with their on-campus jobs in the same departments obtain an annual raise of 25 cents per hour. On the surface, the current raise for freshmen seems unfair. Why should freshmen who have been here only a semester have the same hourly pay as sophomores who have been at their jobs for a year and a half? Why didn’t the University of La Verne decide to give everyone a raise?
Unbeknownst to many, wage increases for everyone are in the near future, including those freshmen who recently saw an increase and new, incoming freshmen. Effective this summer, all on-campus student wages will increase from where they were in September 1996. Freshmen will now start at $5.75, which increases from the current $5 an hour. Sophomores will see an increase of pay to $6, juniors will get $6.25 and seniors will receive $6.50. These increases are to accommodate two more minimum wage increases that will take place within the next 12 months.
This increase will certainly make those who work on-campus for non-work study happy. They will work the same amount of hours for one dollar more per hour.
However, work study students will see virtually no change from their present situation. Students who receive work study as a part of their financial aid packages will see a 20 percent increase in the amount of work study they receive for the 1997-98 year. This is to comply with the hourly wage increase. Thus, departments that utilize work study will not suffer from lack of student workers.
Work study students who were hoping to pocket the remaining money from the wage increase will not be able to do so. They may get one dollar more per hour, but they will still have to sign their checks over to the school to fulfill their financial obligations. The work-study program is a federal program that allows students work on campus to pay for a portion of their tuition.
Though this increase may be beneficial to freshmen during the last few months of this semester and to non-work study students in general, it will hardly promote great change in this institution as a whole.
Although ULV is making a point to increase the current pay scale, students should thank only the government for their raises. Had it been up to the University, students would still be making $4.75 per hour, hardly a respectable wage for someone at an institution of higher learning.