The Student Services Finance Committee met Thursday to debate a resolution to standardize the wages of all General Student Services Fund employees to $10.50 an hour.
This resolution was sponsored by several members of the committee, including Chair Jeremy Swanson, Secretary Iris Huang and Reps. Grace D’Souza and Max Drescher.
Currently, of the 175 GSSF employees budgeted under SSFC, 145 are paid the standard wage of $10.50. Only a few groups take advantage of the tiered structure. Employees who return after their first year receive a $0.25 pay increase to $10.75, but Swanson said this policy makes planning and budgeting difficult because it isn’t always clear which employees will be returning.
Swanson said the resolution will simplify the planning and budgeting of the organizations. He also stressed that, as students first, the tiered wage system had the potential to become overly convoluted.
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“We are all students, there shouldn’t be this hierarchy of students,” Swanson said. “We are all students working part-time at school.”
Rep. Cooper Beckwith said lowering the wages of leaders in organizations might disincentivize members from filling those leadership positions, which often require more commitment.
Three representatives from the Adventure Learning Programs, a GSSF organization, spoke during the open forum about their views towards the resolution.
Because ALPs’ leadership takes on significantly more responsibility in the form of extra hours and trainings, co-director Nina Rozwadowski said they deserve to be compensated for their efforts.
“We essentially run a nonprofit,” Rozwadowski said. “We essentially keep the organization running, why shouldn’t we be paid more for it?”
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Vice Chair Zaakir Abdul-Wahid said the resolution would result in 30 GSSF positions receiving a pay cut. This could potentially be damaging if any of those employees rely on their current wage, he said.
Rep. Grant Rupkalvis agreed, saying a 50 cent pay drop may not seem like much, but it can add up over time.
Swanson acknowledged these criticisms but said streamlining the system would be worth the marginal impact.
“Our job is not to implement policies that the GSSF’s love,” Swanson said. “Our job is to be stewards of student money and make the best decisions with the seg fees they pay.”
SSFC will vote on the resolution in their next meeting, which is to be determined.