Washburn University Board of Regents
SUBJECT: Business and Financial Affairs Handbook Amendment - CHAPTER I. GENERAL EMPLOYMENT POLICIES, PROCEDURES AND BENEFITS SECTION 7. STUDENT EMPLOYMENT POLICY AND PROCEDURES
For many years (at least 25), Washburn University has limited student employees and Federal Work Study student employees to the Federal Minimum Wage rate. The only exception was student employees continuing from one year to the next were awarded small longevity increases, usually $.10 per hour per year. In the past several years, there has been increasing pressure from University departments to raise the student employee wage rate. In some instances the case has been made that individual students possess specific skills that would produce a salary in the private sector considerably in excess of the minimum wage. In general, the economic environment in Topeka has produced low unemployment rates and starting salaries, even in entry level service sector jobs, well above the Federal minimum wage. Attracting and retaining student employees has become increasingly difficult.
In assessing the situation, the Office of Financial Aid examined entry level salaries in service sector jobs typically available to students and the number of students currently employed by campus departments, either as work study or regular student payroll. The competitive entry level wage rate in the community averages above $6.00 per hour and is nearly $7.00 per hour with some experience. After a year on the job, these rates increase to $6.50 per hour and $8.51 per hour.
Title IV regulations mandate Federal Work Study students must be paid at least the Federal minimum wage, but there is no maximum wage rate. The regulation goes on to state, the wage rate for persons in similar jobs in the local area must be considered in determining the appropriate rate.
As a result, the following rates are being recommended to become effective September 1, 2002.
1. Federal Work Study and regular student payroll - general office, labor and service. Increase to $6.15 per hour.
2. Students in Federal Work Study and regular student payroll - general office, labor and service who have satisfactorily completed one year of service receive $6.50 per hour for second and a $.25 per hour increase in each succeeding year.
3. Federal Work Study and regular student payroll - skilled workers, heavy labor and telecounselors. Increase to $7.00 per hour with an additional $.25 per hour increase after each year of satisfactory service.
4. Tutors. Increase up to $7.00 per hour with an additional $.25 per hour increase after each year of satisfactory service.
5. Student Supervisors. Increase to $7.50 per hour with an additional $.25 per hour increase after each year of satisfactory service.
The proposed change to the Business and Financial Affairs Handbook, the underlined portion of the text, is attached.
Increasing the wage rate poses no substantial financial issue with regard to Federal Work Study students. Work Study funds are adequate and the potential exists to increase University's allocation. However, increasing the regular student wage rate produces a budget impact. An increase of $1.00 per hour in the regular student payroll creates an expenditure increase of nearly $110,000 per year, assuming the total number of hours worked remains constant. The academic and administrative units all agree an increase is needed and expressed a willingness in the short run to absorb the increases within existing budgets.
President Farley recommends the Board of Regents approve the amendments to the Business and Financial Affairs Handbook as detailed in the attachment.
Date Jerry Farley, President