Some working students will ring in the new year with a bigger paycheck thanks to the state minimum wage being raised, but not all of them.
Effective as of Sunday, Jan. 1, the statewide minimum wage was increased by $0.40 for students making less than $8.90 an hour.
“Anyone whose current hourly wage is less than $8.90 will be brought up to $8.90,” Ferris payroll clerk Carla Kleinheksel said. “It’s different than how it was done in previous years, but it’s the decision of the President’s Council.”
The only exception will be for student employees at Ferris’ Kendall College who will all receive a raise, regardless of their previous wage.
Ferris elementary education senior Brent Oberlin likes where the country stands when it comes to minimum wage.
“It’s definitely fair. I’m a student working a part-time job, doing part-time stuff. I do not need or deserve 15 dollars an hour or anything crazy like that,” Oberlin said. “I think minimum wage is at a good place, increasing it nationwide can have a negative impact.”
Oberlin works in the Ferris Admissions Office as a Student Admissions Representative.
According to Ferris graphic design junior Natalie Dixon, the pay raise is something to be happy about, especially because she had to scale back on her hours working as a manager at the Student Recreational Center.
“My boss told me that we would be getting an increase after the new year. I think minimum wage should be the same for everyone, but going to school and working gets harder the deeper I get into my program,” Dixon said. “It’s just too demanding, but I think it’s worth it to have a job in school to an extent because you need money to survive. My main focus in college is to do well in my major though, so I can graduate and get a job.”
This is the third of the scheduled pay raises enacted by the Michigan State Legislature. In 2014, a law was passed that would gradually raise minimum wage from $7.40 to $9.25 by 2018.