CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The state's new $6.85 an hour minimum wage is pinching colleges across Ohio, where student work-study hours are being reduced to keep campus budgets in balance. The wage hike took effect statewide Jan. 1. Some departments such as libraries and rec centers are having to scramble to maintain operations that depended on students whose hours have been cut.
In Marietta, there is less time spent on tutoring. Stories about the minimum-wage dilemma have started cropping up in college newspapers, where the tale goes like this: Students get more dough but less time on the job.
At Heidelberg College in Tiffin, the library trimmed two hours off its daily schedule. On Saturdays, it is open for three hours, and four on Sundays. Apparently, some students lost their jobs. Stephen Storck, the school's chief financial officer, told the the campus newspaper The Kilikilik that the minimum wage increase meant the school faced a $77,000 budget overrun. "The objective of reducing hours worked was to maintain services to the extent possible while living within the departmental budget. This has proved more challenging for areas of the campus that are more dependent on student labor than others," Storck said in an article written by student journalist Eric Guindon.
Guindon's report is available HERE.
At Marietta College, student journalist Erin Siebel wrote that 12-hour per week jobs had been cut to 9 hours. There is less tutoring in the writing center, she found.
Ohio voters approved the minimum wage increase in a statewide ballot last November.
The potential impacts on campuses weren't recognized up front, a school official told Siebel. "One thing I didn't consider when voting for the minimum wage increase in November was how it would effect my student workers. Because of the increase in wage rates, I've had to dramatically cut back the number of hours my students can work," said Jamie Kendroski, assistant director of International Programs. Siebel's report in the Marcolian is HERE.
Clearly, the minimum wage is pinching. And there are signs some student jobs have been eliminated. But people are making higher wages, which was the plan.