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How Colleges Can Balance Proper Staff Wages and Expand Student Facilities

Last Updated on September 23, 2022 by Deandre Barrett
How-Colleges-Can-Balance-Proper-Staff-Wages-And-Expand-Student-Facilities

Written By Deandre Barrett  |  Education, Career Readiness, College  |  0 Comments | September 23, 2022

Sometimes, colleges must decide between proper staff wages and expanding student facilities; This creates an unfortunate dichotomy in which staff salaries are often reduced to make room for new buildings or other improvements. However, if colleges can find a way to balance these needs, both the students and the staff will benefit. 

By properly compensating its employees, a college can create a more positive work environment while expanding its facilities to serve its students better. To do this, colleges must carefully examine their budget and find ways to allocate additional funds for employee compensation. Only then will everyone be able to enjoy the benefits of improved facilities and higher-quality education.

Why Should Colleges Focus on Increasing Staff Wages Periodically?

Staff wages should be a priority for colleges and universities. From custodians to administrative assistants, the employees who make up the backbone of these institutions are often paid relatively low wages. As a result, they may struggle to make ends meet, forcing them to take on multiple jobs or rely on public assistance. 

Allowing these issues to build up can lead to higher rates of absenteeism and turnover, increased stress levels, and lower job satisfaction. In contrast, staff members are more likely to be engaged in their work and committed to their employer when paid a livable wage. 

Increasing staff wages can also improve job performance and reduce turnover, benefiting the employees and the institution. In addition, colleges and universities should prioritize the many advantages of paying staff members a livable wage.

Paying the staff better wages will also make the community look better overall because people will be able to have a livable salary and won’t have to make cuts to their lives to get by. Doing so can create a more stable and productive workforce, better serving their students and the community.

What Could Cause Staff Wages to Increase?

Fear of Bad Reputation

In 2012, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and other groups started a campaign to raise the minimum staff wages for essential workers to $15. Since then, they have advocated for an increase in the minimum staff wages, leading some states to act. 

For example, industry-leading employers such as Amazon, Target, CVS Health, Best Buy, and more have increased their minimum wage to at least $15. So what typically happens to some companies who choose to ignore the issue or wait too long? 

Those companies usually have to fight battles with unions or have to recoup costs by finding new employees. For example, a GameStop store at Gateway Mall and Southpointe Pavilions at Lincoln, NE, quickly discovered their entire store of employees had quit after claims of being overworked and understaffed for months.

Frank Mauer, the former store leader who left this message on their storefront door, said, “We regret to inform you that we all quit. Our District Manager has no respect for us as employees or human beings” Colleges and universities are also some of the biggest employers in the U.S., so they should do something even if it means having to go out of their comfort zone.

Pressure From Legislation and Minimum Wage Groups

Staff Wages are an essential part of business for many reasons. First, it helps to ensure that employees are paid a fair wage for their work, and it also helps to attract and retain skilled workers. As the cost of living continues to rise, businesses are under pressure to increase their employees’ wages to keep up with the cost of living. 

In addition, minimum wage advocates like Fight For 15 campaign for businesses to voluntarily increase their employees’ wages to help reduce poverty and inequality. While companies may be reluctant to do so in the current economic climate, they may come under increasing pressure to do so in the future. More bills like AB257 can be passed and force businesses to act under pressure to change their policies regarding what the law and workers want.

What Happens When Colleges Don’t Have the Funds to Increase Wages?

Staff wages are one of the most important operating costs for any college or university. Colleges and universities must offer competitive salaries to attract and retain high-quality employees. However, in recent years, many colleges and universities have struggled to keep up with the rising cost of living. As a result, many employees are finding themselves underpaid and overworked.

Worker groups are making great strides to ensure they are paid fairly for their time and can pay their bills so they can live comfortably without worrying about where they will stay. But what happens when colleges don’t have the funds to make the necessary changes to their staff wages?

One solution to this problem is looking at a recent historic budget increase passed by the government by Gavin Newsom. Many of the funds given to businesses in the education budget are allowed to be listed as “Other Expenses,” and they should be audited. Because of these issues, many covid relief funds have been spent secretly on things that aren’t related to education or their intended purpose.

Colleges may also look into facilities they aren’t using as much and cut the costs to free up some resources without cutting into valuable student facilities. Regardless, colleges need to come up with the funds, or they will continue to see an enrollment decline of students because of rising tuition and poor facilities. But, also a loss of staff because of poor wages and working conditions.

How Can Colleges Keep Staff Wages High Without Reducing Student Facilities?

Staff wages are one of the largest expenses for any college or university. However, to keep staff wages high, colleges and universities need to find ways to generate revenue without reducing student helpful student facilities.

One way to do this is by increasing tuition. While this may seem counterintuitive, it allows colleges to reinvest money into their staff. Colleges can create a greater budget for salaries and benefits by charging higher tuition rates. Additionally, they can use the funds to improve existing facilities or build new ones. Colleges will also be able to provide students with better resources while ensuring that staff members are fairly compensated.

The main caveat to this solution is that students won’t be able to and aren’t willing to pay the higher tuition prices without more financial resources; that isn’t just more loans that students have to pay back eventually. Students will also expect better teaching methods and facilities all around the college.

 So, if colleges plan to increase staff wages this way, they need to expect a lot of pushback from students. While tuition will eventually rise, increasing too soon will make it difficult for more students to enter, adding to more enrollment decline.

Colleges can also seek private donors or grants to help fund their operations. Although this may be a more complex solution, it can be a successful way to maintain high staff wages without sacrificing student services. Colleges can also build partnerships with local businesses to run events that will benefit the community and help raise funds for scholarships and affordable housing for staff to help ease the burden.

Ultimately, there are a variety of ways that colleges can keep staff wages high without reducing student facilities. Therefore, colleges need to find the solution that works best for them to ensure the success of their students and staff.

Student Hires Programs

Student Hires is a community-based program that provides hands-on experiential learning opportunities for K 12 students. Led by college students, the program helps to increase the career readiness of disadvantaged youth in our community.

The program offers a variety of programs and services that focus on helping students develop the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the workforce. Student Hires also works with local businesses to provide participants with internship and job shadowing opportunities. By offering these real-world experiences, Student Hires helps prepare participants for the future and allows them to explore different career paths.

Conclusion

To properly balance staff wages and expand student facilities, a college or university must first understand its budgetary restrictions. With this knowledge in hand, the institution can develop a plan that expands facilities while providing fair compensation for employees. They also will be able to look for proper feedback from legislation and union groups on what to do. By taking these important steps, colleges and universities can ensure their students and staff are given the resources they need to succeed.


Last Updated on September 23, 2022 by Deandre Barrett

Deandre Barrett

Deandre Barrett is a computer programming major at Lehigh Carbon Community College. He currently juggles a life balance between doing course work and marketing apprenticeships with Acadium. After graduating from the Acadium 3rd cohort in 2020 and finishing creating gaming reviews for Blasting News in 2017. He is now creating content for Student Hires and looks to use his experience to take the company to the next level. Student Hires has been focused on collaborating with K-12 schools & universities, as well as community employers, to create valuable job opportunities for local college & university students.

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