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Wash U. Goes to $15 Minimum Wage | Mound City NorthStar

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Wash U. Goes to $15 Minimum Wage

By Free Radical

Washington University will have a $15 minimum wage by 2020.

Washington University will raise its minimum wage to $15 by 2020.

Starting in July 2021, all Washington University employees will be making at least $15 per hour. Last week, Chancellor Andrew Martin announced that it would gradually raise the school’s minimum wage “because it is the right thing to do.”

As of July 1, 2019 the wage floor for regular employees and basic service contractors will be set at $12.65 and $12.25 respectively. The following year, starting on July 1, 2020, both regular employees and contractors will make $13.80 per hour. Both groups of workers will make $15 per hour in July 2020. The announcement, however, does not apply to graduate students.

The increase marks years of local grassroots agitation that has pushed for a $15 per hour minimum wage. A plank for region wide pay increases was also in the 2015 Forward through Ferguson report created in the wake of the killing of Michael Brown. The Service Employees International Union Local 1 also pushed for the measure.

The increase is poised to help nearly 1200 employees. In his announcement, Martin noted that the hike is not without precedent. He expressed that that the university’s “current minimum wage is well above the regional average, as well as federal and state mandates.”

Nonetheless, some observers say that even the $15 minimum wage is not enough for most local families. Many of the impacted employees are likely not full time workers and thus not only miss out on more hours, but also crucial benefits. According to a report by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Missouri employee who works 40 hours every week of the year would need to make $11.14 per hour to support herself. However, if an adult has just one child, she would need a living wage of $23.44 per hour. Adults who have three children would need $34.02 per hour.

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