Published On: Thu, Jul 23rd, 2015

Janet Napolitano raises minimum wage for University workers, costs school over $16 million

Strikes and protests appear to be working in the battle to boost minimum wages for workers to $15, summarized by NPR.

University of California President Janet Napolitano announced that the minimum wage for direct and contract employees in the U.C. system working 20 hours or more per week will be raised to $15 an hour over the next three years.

The first hike will be to $13 an hour on Oct. 1, 2015. The minimum wage will then jump to $14 a year later, and hit $15 an hour on Oct. 1, 2017.

In a statement, Napolitano said, “… our community does not exist in a vacuum. How we support our workers and their families impacts Californians who might never set foot on one of our campuses.”

“This is the right thing to do — for our workers and their families, for our mission and values, and to enhance UC’s leadership role by becoming the first public university in the United States to voluntarily establish a minimum wage of 15 dollars.”

The move is expected to affect 3,200 workers in the university system, according to a U.C. spokesperson.

Photo via wikimedia commons uploaded by User Philip

Photo via wikimedia commons uploaded by User Philip

The plan will also institute stronger oversight of contract employees.

Spokesperson Dianne Klein told NPR that officials found some contract employees weren’t being paid adequately. “Contractors or subcontractors have been paid less than minimum wage, [and] workers have operated in poor conditions.”

If we assume these workers were earning $10/hours currently, then 3,200 workers, at  only 20 hours per week, would cost the school (taxpayers or students via tuition hikes) $ 9,984,000 in year one (for the $3 hike) and an additional $3,328,000 for each raise thereafter — that is $16.64 million (just at 20/week, noting that most workers work more than that.)

For example, if we assume half of the workers are full-time (40 hours/week) and use 30 hours in just the calculation for the initial salary bump, the cost sky rockets to just under $15 million.


Janet Napolitano photo screenshot YouTube coverage

Janet Napolitano photo screenshot YouTube coverage

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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