Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced plans to raise minimum wage at state-run universities across the state. While the hike will not be instant, it will be felt slowly over the course of the next several years — with SUNY employees joining other state employees who will now be receiving $9.75 per hour this year.
The executive action was announced at a rally in Manhattan and goes along with the governors overall plan to raise minimum wage — across the board — to $15 an hour for all workers. While the move to raise minimum wage unanimously to $15 an hour is something that will be heavily debated over the next year, as legislative session here in New York is slated to begin in Wednesday — the move to raise employees wages at SUNY schools across New York comes with concern.
The cost of higher education is something that has been widely debated over the last several years — as tuition prices continue to increase. The concern is that with state employees — the manifestation of this in the general public would be in form of higher taxes. This is a move though, which will impact 28,000 employees across New York State, some of which can even be found locally at Finger Lakes Community College, Cayuga Community College, Monroe Community College, and Tompkins-Cortland Community College. However, community colleges are not the only ones that will be feeling the impacts of this raised wage, as employees at schools like SUNY Cortland and Oswego both will see their employees bumped into this pay raise over the next several years.By 2021 under the current plan, all SUNY employees would be making at minimum $15 per hour.
This year, the plan will increase wages to $9.75 for those making the minimum. It has been estimated that the total cost will reach $28 million by the time that the wages have fully-reached the $15 an hour threshold in 2021. Gov. Cuomo’s plan says that the money will come from the SUNY budget and not impact any current programs for the worse.Gov. Cuomo said in a statement regarding this particular issue that, “The truth is that today’s minimum wage still leaves far too many people behind, unacceptably condemning them to a life of poverty even while they work full-time.” He continued, pointing out that “This year, we are going to change that.”
Stay tuned to FingerLakes1.com for the latest news and developments pertaining to the increasing minimum wage in New York State.