In July 2014, the Massachusetts State Legislature approved a plan that would raise the minimum hourly wage by one dollar every year from Jan. 2015 to Jan. 2017. According to this plan, as of Jan. 1 of next year, Massachusetts minimum wage will increase to $10/hr.
As a result, most ENC student workers will see an increase in their wages. However, there is a possibility that this new wage mandate will place financial strains on some of the college’s biggest employers of students.
Lauren Bowen of the Payroll Department assured that while that may be the case for certain employers, this campus has no plans to decrease staff.
Opponents of raising the minimum wage have stated that if the minimum hourly wage is raised, companies will either lay off many of their workers or raise the prices of their goods in order to protect their profit margins. This outcome would harm those same individuals whom the minimum wage raise is designed to benefit.
“The plan will not affect the amount of students employed at ENC,” Bowen said.
The college’s departments have budgeted for the upcoming mandated increase in wages.
“The plan to increase the minimum wage is a three year plan that has been prepared for,” Bowen added.
Supporters of raising the minimum wage believe it will boost businesses in those states who adopt this plan, as consumers will take home larger paychecks and consequently are able to spend more money.
Many college students are looking forward to having additional pay as a result of this minimum wage raise.
“I’m really happy about it. It means more money for me, so I can’t possibly be unbiased about it,” Learning Commons’ worker Noah Prickett said.