Minimum wage hike will not affect Eastern employees’ statuses, says President Glassman

Logan Raschke, Managing Editor

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Eastern employees, students or not, will not be laid off after the minimum wage hike starting Jan. 1, which mandates all employers in the state of Illinois to pay employees $9.25 an hour instead of $8.25.

Eastern President David Glassman said there are about 1,400 student employees at Eastern with most of them working in housing and dining and about 1,130 of them making minimum wage.

Some student workers make more than minimum wage, varying between $11 and $13 depending on specialty, Glassman said. Those student workers’ pay will not be reduced if they make more than $9.25 come the minimum wage increases.

Many of the students who make above minimum wage work for departments. The extra money departments give their student employees is up to them; the university does not fund it, Glassman said.

Also starting Jan. 1, 2020, all students who get hired will be hired at minimum wage, Glassman said.

There may be students getting hired in the same departments working similar jobs who might get paid differently starting next month, he said.

For example, if a department is paying a student $11 an hour and hires another student working a similar job, that recently added student employee will be making $9.25 an hour, Glassman said. It does not matter how similar their jobs are.

Glassman said there will not be wage increases provided based on student employee longevity.

There will also be no pay increase or differential for student employees working night services.

Additionally, the differential for student managers and student supervisors will be a 10-cent difference; student managers will make $9.35 and student supervisors will make $9.45 and so on while the entry-level student workers make minimum wage as the hike continues, Glassman said.

Some student employees manage others; most of these students work in the field of Student Affairs, Glassman said.

Some student workers in dining services are managers, and some are supervisors. There is a differential for student managers and supervisors.

These students who manage each other are put into two different tiers: managers and supervisors, and they get paid slightly more than regular student workers. However, their differentials will remain the same throughout the minimum wage hike in Illinois, Glassman said.

The only exception to these parameters concerning student workers and the minimum wage hike is additional funding through external grants, Glassman said. Those grants may tack on more money than the mandated minimum wage, which will increase once on Jan. 1, 2020, in July 2020 and then by $1 every Jan. 1 until it reaches $15 in 2025.

“This will standardize our student wages,” Glassman said. “(Student wages) are really going to go up appreciably, and that will have an effect financially on the university. It will certainly have an effect on dining and housing, which has the greatest number of students working for them, and that puts pressure on an already-tight budget, and we have to see how it’s best handled in those areas.”

For the non-student, part-time employees, Glassman said the minimum wage hike will inevitably lead to some compression between the employees and supervisors.

Logan Raschke can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].