Announcement of Governor’s Minimum Wage Increase for SUNY

I would like to invite discussion on this. Thank you Jim Gathard for raising the questions that you have raised for the SUNY announcement on the wage increases. The Bursars and Financial Aid Directors received an email from SUNY that answers some of the questions that you raised. Below is the email we received.

“While the particulars of SUNY’s approach to this change will be presented to the SUNY Board of Trustees at next week’s meeting, I thought it important to share the foundations from which decisions will be made:

– General:
o Incremental direct State tax support will being requested to cover costs estimated to be caused by 2015/16 and 2016/17 rate increases, as well as future increases,
o Increases would only impact hourly employees that are not represented by a collectively bargained unit,
o Increases to the minimum wage will have to be approved by the Board of Trustees,
o The impact on student financial aid packages will have to be taken into consideration when offering hourly wages to students.
– State-operated Campus Specific:
o Specific technical information will be provided following Board of Trustees review and approval.
– Community Colleges and Statutory Colleges:
o Actions related to minimum wage increases at the community colleges or the statutory colleges will need to be approved by the individual local Board of Trustees, or of the Boards of Trustees of the respective statutory college.

Thank you, and we will follow-up with further information following the upcoming meeting of the SUNY Board of Trustees”.

That said, of course there will be impacts to students awards and hours worked. In the 23 years I have been at SUNY Canton we have had the exact same CWS allocation. Through many wage increases we have tried to balance raising awards and awarding fewer students to best provide for our student population. We do not expect any increases to federal allocations and as mentioned in SUNY’s email there will be requests for additional state matching funds.

Wage increases have always been difficult to manage and will continue to be that way, especially since the jump will be much larger over the next few years. We expect more information from SUNY as it develops.

What do you all think? What do you forsee as an impact for your institutions, whether SUNY or private?

Kerrie Cooper
NYSFAAA President

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