New Mexico minimum wage bill will affect on-campus employment


Zack Jimenez

Work study positions will see wage changes in the upcoming year.

The state of New Mexico will see its current minimum wage of $7.50 increase to $9 in January 2020. This pay increase will have a direct effect on departments and future hourly employees at New Mexico State University. 

This increase is in accordance with Senate Bill 437, which states that New Mexico’s minimum wage will continue to increase gradually until the minimum wage reaches $12 in January 2023.  

The increase to $9 will put the state minimum wage $1.10 behind the Las Cruces minimum wage of $10.10.   

Although the current minimum wage in Las Cruces is set at $10.10 per hour, the wages of hourly paid employees at NMSU follow state guidelines rather than city guidelines, according to Associate Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Justin Bannister. 

NMSU is actually outside of the Las Cruces city limits. That’s why we follow the state guidelines on minimum wage,” Bannister said.  

In 2010, it was decided that student employee positions which include student aide, student co-op and student graduate specialist would be paid $7.50 at minimum.  

To make up for increased wages, departments such as Student Media, ASNMSU and Recreational Sports—all departments that employ students—will need to alter their fiscal year budgets. 

Departments such as Undergraduate Admissions, Human Resources and Financial Aid indicated it is too early to know how budgets will be altered to adjust to the minimum wage increase.  

Family Outreach Coordinator Claire Montoya said that Undergraduate Admissions does not have plans on how wages for NMSU orientation leaders will change next school year. 

We [Undergraduate Admissions] haven’t been given guidance about that yet for our department,” Montoya said.  

Bannister said that although definite numbers are not currently known, these state changes will impact NMSU. 

I can tell you that a change in minimum wage will have an impact on many of our student employees. Those student employees work in departments all across the university. Very few of our regular (non-student) employees make minimum wage,” Bannister said.  

Current NMSU student employee Justice Adler has a work-study position working with the NMSU library and she outlined her perceived pros and cons of the increased wages next year. 

“It is difficult working 40 hours every pay check and still hardly breaking $300 every two weeks. But also, with this pay raise, we have to keep in mind that hours could be cut, as well,” Adler said.“But I think it’s really good that wages are going up, but that’s only because the price of living is going up as well.”  

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