The Student Services Financial Committee passed an amendment in favor of a staggered wage increase for the Bus Pass budget and heard the Greater University Tutoring Service budget on Monday.
The Associated Students of Madison Bus Pass budget’s request to raise the minimum wage for student employees to $15 an hour in the fiscal year for 2022 ignited a broader discussion about incremental wage increases.
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Rep. Roshan Verma said SSFC’s precedents typically enforce a $10.50 hourly wage for General Student Service Funds organizations, noting a jump to $15 would be a 42% increase in one year.
“I kind of wanted to see where people were at or comfortable with $15 an hour or were they more in the camp that I’m in, which we should stay consistent with what we’ve done at $10.50 an hour,” Verma said.
Rep. Jordan Pasbrig said the Bus Pass budget was a non-allocable group — which encompasses other budgets from Rec Well and the Unions — and those campus units do not have the precedential standard of $10.50 an hour.
Pasbrig advocated for a staggered increase approach, saying SSFC should establish a formal procedure in their policies for raising non-allocable units’ minimum wages in a series of percentage increases.
“I think it maybe it’s more appropriate to see a series of increases to $15 an hour,” Pasbrig said. “I think in being fiscally reasonable and dealing with a lot of other non-allocable units and wanting to seem viewpoint neutral, I think having some sort of precedent set … might be a better plan.”
Pasbrig motioned to amend the student hourly line from $15,120 to $12,700.80, representing a total decrease of $2,419.20. Last year, SSFC rejected the Bus Pass budget’s request to raise wages from $10.50 an hour to $11.50 an hour, Chair Tessa Reilly said.
SSFC passed the amendment, which created a 20% wage increase for the Bus Pass program — putting the wage base at $12.60 per hour in 2022 and over the $15 per hour threshold by 2023.
SSFC also heard the budget for the Greater University Tutoring Service. GUTS is a student-run tutoring service which provides programming to build academic, language and study skill support services. The services are taught and facilitated by students for students, and all of GUT’s services are free.
The organization proposed a total budget of $285,193.71 — an increase of over $44,000 from the previous fiscal year. GUTS Senior Coordinator of Academic Programs Ian Pearson said a majority of the budget increase is due to a paid tutor pilot program.
Under the proposed budget, GUTS would hire 15 tutors to lead 30 academic match tutoring groups, which consists of small group tutoring where students meet for two hours every week with one tutor and up to eight Tuesdays for the duration of the semester.
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Pearson said the program would have several benefits, which would include a more diverse tutor poll, meeting the exponential demand for tutoring on campus, providing paid experience for relevant majors and expanding leadership opportunities.
“Adding paid tutors would allow us to create more groups at the beginning of the semester, so we would have a higher match rate,” Pearson said.
SSFC will vote on the GUTS budget proposal next Monday.