New York University will raise the minimum wage of Work Study recipients and other student workers to $15 per hour in the next three years. In a memorandum sent out today to the entire NYU community, the university’s new president, Andy Hamilton, laid out his plan to gradually increase the student workers’ minimum wage, which is currently $9 per hour. The memorandum explained that NYU’s Budget Office will implement a minimum wage of $12 per hour for the academic year 2016-17, $13.50 per hour for 2017-18, and $15 per hour 2018-19.
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo had already announced plans, back in January, to raise the state minimum wage to $15 an hour, a fact Hamilton addresses in the memorandum: “Even if there is not agreement on [the issue of raising the state minimum wage], or if the agreement calls for a longer time frame, NYU will move forward with its plans. And, of course, should state legislation call for a quicker time frame, we will comply with that.”
The increase will mostly affect undergraduate student workers, since there was already a $15-per-hour minimum for graduate student workers and full-time NYU employees, including “the full-time employees of vendors who have a major presence on campus – such as facilities and food service workers.” (Bedford + Bowery employs NYU graduate students and adheres to these standards.)
This announcement comes at the heels of an email, last month, announcing that NYU would freeze housing and meal plan costs for 2016-17 and hike tuition by just 2.9 percent, rather than the usual 3.5 to 3.9 percent. That announcement “earned high points” for Hamilton, according to a profile of the “Big Man on a Global Campus” published by the New York Times. Earlier this month, Hamilton created an Affordability Steering Committee, which plans to institute an overall reduction of NYU’s cost of attendance.