Missouri college raises minimum wage to $10 an hour

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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Stephens College has raised the minimum wage for its full-time employee to $10 per hour, a move that will mainly affect those in service or maintenance roles.

The change at the women's college in Columbia went into effect at the start of the school's fiscal year on July 1, the Columbia Daily Tribune (http://bit.ly/1fBwE6D ) reported. Employees benefitting from the bump include those who clean, take care of the grounds, handle recycling and trash pickup — jobs that Stephens College President Diane Lynch called "critically important" to the institution.

The school has about 200 full-time employees, but school officials wouldn't say how many of those employees received a raise because of the increase.

Myrtle Crowley has worked at Stephens for a year, completing tasks such as cleaning student resident halls, taking care of trash and restocking toilet paper. Crowley said she was excited when she received her first paycheck with the increased wage.

"I didn't think I would be getting a pay raise this year," Crowley said.

Lynch said the college began to seriously examine its salary structure about two years ago, reviewing every employee's job description and workload and making adjustments across the board for faculty and staff whose job descriptions had changed without an increase in pay.

"When we did that, it became clear that some of our lowest-paid employees were not receiving the kind of compensation that we'd like them to," she said.

The state's minimum wage is $7.65. Kansas City and the city of St. Louis have made efforts to raise their local minimum wage.

The Kansas City Council has agreed to put a petition to raise the local minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020 on the November ballot, while the proposal in St. Louis to increase its minimum wage hit a roadblock this summer.


Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune, http://www.columbiatribune.com

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