Emerson student wages to increase with Massachusetts law

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The minimum wage increase will cost the college approximately $500,000 by 2020. William Bloxham / Beacon Correspondent

By Xinyi Xu

The hourly minimum wage in Massachusetts increased from $11 to $12 on Jan. 1 and is scheduled to reach $15 by 2023. Emerson scheduled the increase into the school budget.

Associate Vice President for Finance Robert Butler said in an interview that the minimum wage increase will cost the college approximately $500,000 more by June 30, 2020—or 0.5 percent of the college’s overall budget. Butler confirmed the college will adhere to the minimum wage increase as it takes effect. The school will adjust pay according to the Massachusetts schedule for any student earning minimum wage.  

“Emerson College adjusts departments’ budgets to fund the increase in the minimum wage each January,” Butler said.

The college does not pay any faculty members at the minimum wage, but it does pay $11 or more per hour to students with on-campus jobs. 

Executive Assistant to the Vice President for Enrollment Management Noah Wood said in an email that the college does not have a list of student jobs that pay minimum wage due to the differences in experience levels and abilities required for different jobs.

Individual departments determine the salaries for student employees separately. Then, they inform the Student Employment department how much each student will get paid. Once students finish the required paperwork, they can start to work. Every week, the payroll office calculates and deposits that week’s money into students’ bank accounts.

Junior Libby Sweeney began working at the Welcome Desk in fall 2017 and said she has not received a notification from the school about the minimum wage increase yet.

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that students would receive emails about the minimum wage increase as it went into effect. This has been removed from the article because the information was provided by an anonymous source. 

Update: The Beacon updated the article to include what the minimum wage was previously.