Gov. Cuomo announces $15 minimum wage for SUNY employees

ALBANY, N.Y. – The State University of New York will raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for more than 28,000 employees at its campuses across the state, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.

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The pay increase for SUNY employees would impact hourly paid staff, student workers and work study participants, according to a press release from the governor’s office. Those employees would see their wages increase to $9.75 an hour beginning in February of this year before ultimately reaching $15 an hour in 2021, mirroring a similar increase scheduled for fast food workers and New York state employees.

Gov. Cuomo issued an executive action to set the plan in motion, though the wage increase still requires approval from the SUNY Board of Trustees.

It’s unclear what immediate impacts the wage increase would have on the roughly 1,200 employees on the SUNY Cortland campus, according to college spokesperson Fred Pierce.

For example, employees that work in the college’s dining halls are employed through Auxiliary Services Corporation – a nonprofit organization that is not a part of New York state government – and it’s unclear if those employees and student workers would be impacted by the wage increase, Pierce said.

In addition, many of the college’s full-time and part-time employees already make above minimum wage, according to Pierce.

The SUNY Board of Trustees is expected to approve the wage increase at its January board meeting. The increase is projected to cost about $28 million once it is fully implemented, a cost that will be covered by the State University of New York.

The governor made the announcement at a rally in New York City, where he was joined by U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez, actor Steve Buscemi and a number of elected officials.

At Monday’s rally, Gov. Cuomo also proposed raising the minimum wage in New York State to $15 for all workers, though it’s unclear if such a measure would pass the Republican-controlled State Senate.

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