Editorial: Minimum Wage on Campus Needs to be Raised

Editorial Featured Opinion Politics

From the 2018 midterm ballot, Proposition B was passed in the state of Missouri which was in favor of increasing minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2023. The proposition went into effect on Jan. 1, 2018, and jumped minimum wage from $7.85 to $8.60 an hour. However, Missouri Western announced that school employees will not be allowed to receive the benefits from this passed legislation. Government entities have the legal right to bypass this law if they so choose. While they may be within their rights, we believe that Western is doing a disservice to its students and, in turn, itself.

We propose that the university should instead implement a plan to raise the minimum wage to match state requirements starting in June. By this time, the fiscal year that they have already budgeted will come to a close and the new fiscal year will begin. If Western does not increase the minimum wage, negative results could incur.

To run well, the school depends on student workers. If the pay does not increase, they may lose student workers to jobs outside of the university. After all, there is already a large difference between what students are paid on campus versus what they would be payed somewhere like Panda Express where the lowest position pays nine dollars an hour. If the school does not increase pay, this discrepancy will continue to grow. Even if the students who get off-campus jobs decide to work their university job as well, their interests will be divided making less dedicated workers overall.

Further, some student employees who would wish to spend time working their on-campus job and make up the difference in pay by working more hours are unable. Some positions such as resident assistants (RA) require you to report outside work and keep the total number of hours per week less than 20. While the heart of the contract is to keep students from being overworked so that they can succeed in their academics and employment, raising minimum wage would offer a better alternative for both in a way that is fair to what Missourians have agreed upon.

By keeping the minimum wage low for the already limited number of hours some students are allowed to work, the university is making it even harder to stay afloat in the financial torrent that is college. Having overworked and struggling with debt students will not make Missouri Western look more successful or desirable. In favor of the students and university, we’re requesting higher pay.