January 5, 2016

Wage hike OK’d for some SUNY workers


Staff Reporter

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a raise in minimum wage for SUNY employees Monday, and SUNY Cortland officials are meeting today to discuss the implications for the local campus.
SUNY Cortland spokesman Fredric Pierce said officials are meeting to discuss the impacts of the governor’s move to raise the minimum wage on campus to $15 an hour statewide by 2021.
SUNY Cortland has 273 work-study students working at the college who will be affected by the new raise. Impacts on other employees were not known.
Upon approving the SUNY increase, more than 28,000 hourly paid staff, student workers and work-study participants will see their wages increase to $9.75 an hour, beginning in February of this year, and ultimately reach $15 an hour July 1, 2021, statewide, mirroring the increased schedule of fast-food workers and state employees.
Cuomo’s plan impacts state university employees and does not directly affect Tompkins Cortland Community College, said campus spokesman Peter Voorhees.
The move makes New York among the first in the nationto set its higher educationpublic employees on a path to $15 an hour.
“This state thrives when every New Yorker has the opportunity and the ability to succeed. Yet the truth is that today’s minimum wage still leaves far toomany people behind — unacceptably condemning themto a life of poverty even while they work full-time,” Cuomo said Monday at a rally in New York City.
Cuomo has also increased the minimum wage for fast-food workers and tipped workers, which took effect on Dec. 31, making the current minimum wage $9 an hour.
Raising the minimum wageto $15 an hour for all industries in SUNY affects 2.3 million workers in New York state,about a quarter of the total work force. Raising the minimum wage to $15 also isthe equivalent of the 1970 minimum wage adjusted forinflation, according to the governor’s office.
“Governor Cuomo’s commitment to implementing a higher minimum wage at scale throughout New York stateis a commendable action that SUNY is proud to be a partof,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “TheState University of New York recognizes the value of allfaculty, staff and students at work on our campuses and the significant contributions they make to our campus communities, as well as local economies in every region.”

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