>Effect of Higher Minimum Wage on Student Workers
You see, in November, Ohio voters passed a minimum wage increase intended to help raise the living standards for those in the lower paying jobs such as restaurants and other businesses. The affect on students was not considered. Michigan also passed a similar law.
Many universities and colleges are now scrambling to find funding in their budgets to cover the rising costs of the student workers due to this minimum wage increase. Many simply do not have it. Several anticipate lowering the number of hours the student works that will keep their costs the same or some will not re-hire for positions that will be soon vacated. A few feel they will be able to survive with the rising enrollment or find it elsewhere in their budgets.
Students employed outside the university will probably also be affected by less hours or less jobs available. Students working while attending school, build work ethic and experience that will advance them above others when seeking employment after graduation. With rising tuition costs, what is a student to do? Where can others help?
In Ohio, there is a proposed legislation to exempt the public universities from the minimum wage increase. However, this does not cover the dilemma that the private colleges are facing. Also, Ohio’s minimum wage will adjust annually for inflation. BUT, the US Budget’s funding from the Federal Work Study Program does not. This funding has remained flat despite tuition growing at a pace more than double inflation. This funding needs to be pegged to increase with inflation also or otherwise student work hours will continue to dwindle and students will be accumulating even more debt.
Credit unions and universities need to unite to petition Congress to increase the budget for work study and also petition our local governments as well. We also need to work with local businesses to hire students and be willing work around their schedules as part-time or full-time workers or interns.
What else can we do to help our future leaders? Any suggestions or comment are welcome. I was originally going to discuss dress code and societal changes in the definition of acceptable dress in the workplace but this topic seemed much more important.