In response to recent legislation dictating an increase in New Jersey’s minimum wage, raising the statewide wage floor from $12 to $13, college students with jobs in the lowest salary bracket will receive a 50 cent hourly raise this semester. Popular jobs on campus, including Orange Key tour guides, book page library assistants, meeting ushers, and campus recreation jobs, all of which previously paid $12.50 an hour, will now receive $13 per hour.
On-campus jobs in the lowest pay bracket are called “student worker 1” positions, according to the undergraduate financial aid office. website. The website describes roles in this salary bracket as “structured”, requiring “little or no previous experience” and having a “high level of supervision”.
In a written statement to the Daily Princetonian, Ayana Okoya, the university’s media relations specialist, said: “We do not anticipate that increasing student salaries will reduce the number of positions available.”
Okoya clarified, however, that salaries are generally funded by individual hiring departments.
Covering the cost of increased salaries has already required adjustments for some student employers such as Coffee Club, which recently had to increase the price of some menu items. According to the Club’s marketing manager, Ava Vilensky ’23, the student-run cafe currently employs 36 undergraduate students and all baristas will get a 50-cent pay raise.
“Our decision to raise prices is partly in response to the NJ minimum wage increase, as well as an increase in the price of our supplies due to supply chain issues,” she said. wrote in an e-mail to the “Prince”. “Our hope is that employed students will benefit from a slight increase in their salary.”
For Amalia Haile-Manas ’25, who has worked as a barista at the Coffee Club since early November, the increase marks “a step in the right direction”.
“Salary should not prevent people from working here. Some people have to take jobs on campus that pay more because they need it to support themselves,” she said. “The 50-cent hike brings us a little closer, but I think we would like see a bigger increase to make sure anyone can work here.
This semester, only the salaries of salaried students in the lowest salary bracket are increased; however, student salaries are expected to increase in the coming years. New Jersey’s January 1 minimum wage increase is part of a phased plan to set the statewide minimum wage at $15 an hour by 2024, described in a 2019 report. Invoice signed by Phil Murphy.
As a consultant at the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning, Sarah Fry ’24 is among the student employees whose position is not in the lowest pay bracket. Although her salary will not be affected this semester, she expressed her support for the salary increase for student workers in general.
“Every extra money helps, especially for students who need to work to support themselves financially while they’re here,” she said. “It’s definitely a positive change.”
Tess Weinreich is a news writer and feature contributor for the “Prince”. She can be reached at [email protected].