In their Wednesday night meeting, the Associated Students of Madison passed an amendment that would increase the minimum wage for General Student Services Fund organizations and ASM from $10.50 to $12.00 an hour. 

With a vote of 17-1, ASM passed the amendment and will confirm the amendment with a second vote at their next meeting in two weeks. To amend ASM bylaws, student council must pass legislation with a two-thirds vote in two consecutive meetings, according to the ASM Constitution.

ASM attempted to pass similar-functioning legislation last year in their fiscal year 2023 internal budget, but the Student Services Finance Committee reversed the decision due to a conflict with ASM’s governing bylaws. This proposed legislation would instead implement the wage increase by changing the bylaws, which presently mandate all student positions must have a minimum wage of $10.50.

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The meeting occurred almost a year after the university increased the staff minimum wage to $15.00 an hour, but student hourly workers were not eligible for the minimum wage increase. Rep. Jack Phillips raised the possibility of raising the minimum wage for student positions to $15.00 to match the university’s set minimum wage.

“[$15.00 an hour is] the morally acceptable amount for students to live off of,” Phillips said when advocating for a higher minimum wage for student workers earlier this month.

Rep. Erin Tritz supported raising the minimum wage to $15.00 but said ASM isn’t allowed to increase wages by more than 15%. Still, the increase to $12.00 would increase the minimum wage for student positions would put the wages close to the ASM-funded wages for the Front Desk and Student Activity Center staff, who received a raise to $13.00 per this year due to staffing shortages.

Rep. Roshan Verma expressed concerns regarding the raise, noting ASM should increase the wages of ASM student positions in tandem with other paid student positions.

“I do believe we should have higher wages for students on campus, but I am not sure we should be paying ourselves more than other groups,” Verma said.

SSFC Chair Maxwell Laubenstein argued Verma’s point had little relation to the topic at hand.

“Those concerns can be brought up in further meetings before this would come into effect, so I do not see why those concerns are being made at this time,” Laubenstein said.

Phillips seconded Laubenstein, saying that wages for all student positions should be raised to $12.00.

In an interview with the Badger Herald, ASM Chair Adrian Lampron said ASM would offset the raise for the internal ASM student positions by cutting other parts of their budget. To increase the minimum wage for GSSF organizations, ASM would raise segregated fees by a slight amount, Lampron said.

Increasing the minimum wage for GSSF positions would cost $72,482.53, according to ASM financial reports.

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In addition to discussing the wage increase, ASM also heard from its Sustainability Committee. The committee suggested hosting an environmental dinner for students interested in sustainability, with members of campus environmental organizations present.

The Sustainability Committee also said that students from across the UW system were planning on meeting with the Climate Defense Project in an attempt to sue Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association to divest from fossil fuels.

The ASM student council will next meet Feb. 10, 6:30pm.