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University’s low minimum wage is a major disincentive to on-campus jobs, some students say after email about dining staff shortage – The Minnesota Daily

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In an email sent on November 19, a university official wrote that some dining facilities would remain closed due to staff shortages, prompting students to express their views on the university’s minimum wage and working conditions on social media.

After the November 19 email sent by Vice President of University Services Mike Bertelsen about staff shortages at dining facilities, some University of Minnesota students posted on social media to express their frustration about the university’s minimum wage.

Since the minimum wage in Minneapolis is set to rise to $15 in the next few years, some university students have said on social media that they are discouraged from working on campus because of low wages, so they often choose off-campus employment options.

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“We are doing everything we can to open more dining facilities”…really??! Have you tried paying more than $3 an hour to your employees below? [Minneapolis] Lowest pay?” third-year student Alexis Wagenfeld wrote on a reddit page about the university.

Several students expressed a similar message in their posts in response to the November 19 email: “If the university wants to solve the employment crisis now affecting dining facilities, it must raise the minimum wage to match Minneapolis.”

According to the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, the Minneapolis CPI rose about 24% between 2010 and 2021. The CPI measures the average change in prices over a period of time to see how far the dollar goes today compared to years past.

On January 1, 2021, the state of Minnesota raised the minimum wage from $10 to $10.08 to account for inflation. The University of Minnesota minimum wage is $10.08 today.

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Jacob Mo is a fourth-year student and has worked in the IT office in the university’s athletics department for about three years. Since 2010, Moe said his position has paid about $10 an hour, but this semester, the pay has gone up to $13.50.

“My boss was a student here at the University of Minnesota about 10 years ago,” Mo said. “Began the job I currently have in 2010. The starting wage was $10 an hour. When I started working here in 2019, my starting salary was $10 an hour”

Students Reactions to Email on November 19th

After reading the email sent on November 19, Mo said he believes the university is shifting responsibility for addressing the employment crisis to students, rather than university management and officials.

“I think it’s funny,” Mo said. “I feel this is the classic shift of blame from management to workers.”

Wagenfeld said they think it is unfair for university management to claim that they are doing everything they can to address staff shortages, while still not raising the minimum wage.

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“It’s the [same] The reason why pretty much every company struggles to find junior employees. “That’s because they don’t pay these employees enough,” Wagenfeld said. “It was very strange to me [the University] To claim that they are doing everything they can, when it is clear that they are not.”

Some students have recommended offering more flexible hours or departmental resources to reduce stress from working in understaffed conditions.

Mo said the office he worked in usually had eight students hired and worked as staff, but at the moment only three. This puts more pressure and responsibility on working students, which Mo added has created a stressful and frustrating work environment.

“I think it’s plain and simple,” Mo said. “If the university wants to have student workers and have consistent access to labor through the student body, they have to make the job worth working again.”

According to Moe, the only real benefit of working on campus is the convenience of having a job nearby. But overall, he said, off-campus jobs do a better job that motivates students to work for them and it’s not surprising that students choose to work off-campus.

Carter Yost, a sophomore and co-chair of the Minnesota Student Association’s Declaration of a Special Committee on Working Student Wages, said.

shortage of national labor

In a statement issued by the university’s director of public relations Jake Reeker, he stated that filling open jobs is a widespread issue with 10.4 million jobs nationwide according to the US Department of Labor’s Monthly Job Opportunity Survey and Labor Turnover. Reeker added that employment challenges should not be linked directly to a single variable.

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Varadarajan Chari, professor of economics at the university, said he was puzzled when he read the November 19 email.

He added that the university’s food service office couldn’t say at the same time that it couldn’t find enough staff to keep dining facilities open, while offering lower wages than if adjusted for 10 years of inflation.

“It’s a shame because they claim they have the problem of not being able to find enough workers,” Shari said. “The simplest and most obvious way to attract more workers, which is to offer better pay to students, is something they deliberately avoid.”

As a result of the pandemic, one of the ways companies have adapted to the labor shortage has been to offer bonuses and raise hourly wages. According to Shari, the university management could implement this, but chose not to.

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