In accordance with the new minimum wage hikes, student employees at Georgetown will see up pay increases this year of up to $1.25, possibly at the expense of number of student jobs offered.

As of July 1, 2014, the minimum wage in Washington D.C. has been increased from $8.25 to $9.50, the first increase in a series of incremental wage increases until the minimum wage reaches $11.50 in 2016.

Cawley Career Education Center Executive Director Mike Schaub said that while student employment at the Career Center will not be affected by this first wage increase to $9.50, as the minimum wage rises further, the center might need to consider making budget cuts in order to absorb the financial loss.

“For 2015 and 2016, we will need to closely evaluate our budget to determine how many students and how many hours we can support. If our budget does not change, we may need to hire one less student (nothing drastic) or give students fewer hours to account for the wage increase,” Schaub wrote in an email.

Professor of Research at Georgetown University Medical Center Kathleen Pirollo agreed that the laboratory assistant job her office offers, which paid $9.25 prior to the wage increase, would not be affected significantly by this summer’s wage increase, but that the future increases could pose problems.

“It’s going to affect us more down the line as we proceed with hiring students during the year who are putting in more hours and who are maybe at a higher skill level, and also I think it’s going to affect us more down the line when the higher salaries kick in,” she said.

Pirollo noted that in addition to the budget cuts that would have to be made in order to compensate for the rise in minimum wage, the higher rate would raise the wage standard for employees with more work experience than the average college student.

“But now $11 is going to be at the novice level, how much is he going to expect us to pay for someone who has a little experience? We’re going to have to be paying them $13, $15 an hour? We don’t have that money to give them to do that, so we probably will wind up hiring fewer students because that’s the budget that we have,” she said.

She added that she felt that the minimum wage increase made less sense for part-time student employees.

“I think paying them like $11 an hour is not appropriate. I just think that it is not necessary for students who are working part-time to actually get paid that level, quite frankly,” Pirollo said. “I think that if you are an adult — you are a full-time employee of a company — that’s a totally different situation that needs to be considered by the company.”

Rather than cutting back on student employees, Lauinger Library plans to absorb the loss by filling most of their staff with students who are receiving work-study funding.

“The library expects to maintain its existing levels of student assistant staffing. To absorb the impact of the minimum wage increase, we will hire students who have work-study funding,” Lauinger’s Coordinator of Communications, Outreach and Programming Jennifer Ann Smith wrote in an email.

Casey Nolan (COL ’17), a student employee at the Lauinger Circulation Desk, said that while she was excited to hear about the minimum wage increase, she acknowledged that there should be a distinction made between student workers and full-time employees in terms of wage increases.

“If the supervisor is making $11.50 an hour and the students are too, I don’t think that’s fair, because the supervisor is a full-time employee. And some of my supervisors have a specific skill set,” she said.

However, as a work-study blind organization where the majority of members are not on work-study, Students of Georgetown Inc. has raised prices by three percent to account for the wage increase.

“In fact, we don’t actually know whether someone’s on work-study or not until they are already hired into the Corp,” Corp CEO Sam Rodman (MSB ’15) said.

In order to make up for the loss generated by the wage increase, The Corp would have to make $70 more an hour, which, under its current business model, would amount to a loss of $200,000 each year by 2016.

According to Rodman, cutting back staff would not be an option, since the same number of shifts would still need to be filled.

“If we cut a person, we would actually probably lose money on that shift because people wouldn’t get their drinks as quickly; customers would be more annoyed,” he said.

The 3-percent rise in prices will help compensate not only for the minimum wage increase but also for the increase in prices from their vendors, who are also raising prices in reaction to the minimum wage hike.

Rodman said that while students may not be thrilled about the price rise, The Corp remains a low-price option for college students.

“I think that people don’t love to see an extra nickel on their coffee. I think they’ll kind of understand it, and at the same time, when you look at how … prices are changing across D.C., number one, we’re certainly on the low end in terms of percent increase, and number two, we are still priced well below our competitors on everything,” he said. “That didn’t change.”

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