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UCLA minimum wage set to rise with state, city increases

By Roberto Luna Jr.

July 19, 2015 8:13 p.m.

The original version of this article incorrectly stated that UCLA will have a minimum wage of $10.25 an hour by next July. In fact, UCLA will have a minimum wage of $10.50 an hour

The University of California Office of the President updated its policy in April, requiring UCLA to comply with Los Angeles’s imminent minimum wage increase.

Each UC campus must follow federal, state and local minimum wage provisions, according to the policy.

California’s minimum wage will rise from $9 to $10 an hour starting Jan. 1. The city’s minimum wage will increase to $10.50 an hour starting July of next year and continue to increase about a dollar every year until it reaches $15 an hour in 2020.

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Most full-time career position jobs at UCLA already pay $15 an hour, but there are some jobs that start at $9 an hour, said UCLA spokeswoman Rebecca Kendall in an email statement.

She added all full-time career staff and 95 percent of part-time non-career staff at UCLA earn more than the minimum wage. However, this information does not include those who are paid by the hour.

The policy developed after UC Berkeley came under criticism for continuing to pay employees the state minimum wage, despite the city of Berkeley’s minimum wage increase to $10 an hour in October 2014.

UC Berkeley officials argued that the campus is part of the UC, which is a state agency, said UC Berkeley Spokeswoman Ellen Topp in a statement in December.

UC Berkeley Spokeswoman Janet Gilmore said in an email statement last week the city of Berkeley’s minimum wage increase also excluded nonprofit organizations, like the university. She added their current pay scale ranges from $9 to $35, but most students are paid about $12 an hour.

Because the city of Berkeley’s planned minimum wage increase to $11 an hour in October will include nonprofit organizations, UC Berkeley will increase its minimum wage as well, in accordance with the UC policy update, Gilmore said.

Seven California cities – Berkeley, Emeryville, Jackson Rancheria, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and Sunnyvale – currently set hourly minimum wages at more than $10 an hour. Los Angeles will become the eighth next July.

Associated Students UCLA will increase its minimum wage in January to $10.25 an hour to accommodate the state minimum wage increase, but most jobs will start at $10.75 an hour by then, said ASUCLA Executive Director Bob Williams.

Williams added ASUCLA will be increasing its wages in accordance with the city minimum wage. He said ASUCLA officials are focused on the business and project plan for the school year, so they haven’t yet figured out how to accommodate the increase in July.

Chris Tilly, a professor in urban planning at UCLA and director of the UCLA Institute of Research on Labor and Employment, said he thinks the new policy is practical because it would create attractive wages for workers at UC campuses.

However, Tilly said he doesn’t think the new policy will make a big impact here because there aren’t many minimum wage workers at UCLA or in the Santa Monica and Beverly Hills areas. He added most minimum wage workers at UCLA are represented by unions that ensure UCLA pays them the mandated city’s minimum wage.

Ahson Haider, a rising third-year anthropology student, said he thinks the new policy will make more students want to apply for jobs on campus, since wages at UCLA and ASUCLA are guaranteed to increase, instead of going outside of UCLA to find higher paying jobs.

Katherine Page, a rising fourth-year sociology student who works on campus, said she thinks the update in the policy will secure higher wages for students and make it easier to pay for school.

Undergraduate student government stipends will not increase to match the city’s minimum wage increase without a change in the bylaws, because the bylaws only tie stipends to the state minimum wage, said Heather Rosen, president of the Undergraduate Students Association Council. The council will discuss possible changes to the bylaws at a future meeting, she added.

UCLA will have the third highest minimum wage within the UC campuses by next July, with a minimum wage of $10.50 an hour. UC San Francisco will be the highest, paying students $13 an hour, followed by UC Berkeley, with a minimum wage of $11 an hour.

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Roberto Luna Jr. | News senior staff
Roberto Luna Jr. is currently a senior staffer covering Westwood, crime and transportation. He was previously an assistant News editor from 2015-2016 and a News contributor from 2014-2015.
Roberto Luna Jr. is currently a senior staffer covering Westwood, crime and transportation. He was previously an assistant News editor from 2015-2016 and a News contributor from 2014-2015.
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