Rising minimum wage leads to fewer hours for GLK workers

GLK has been forced to cut hours for student workers in order to decrease costs. GLK does not make any profit and has been unable to keep up with the rising costs (Udeshi Seneviratne/Photo Editor).

This increase in wages has affected student workers, including those who work with Geneseo Late Knight. 

Minimum wage has risen $1.40 for New York State workers outside of New York City, Long Island and Westchester since 2016. As of Dec. 31, 2018, minimum wage is $11.10. 

The GLK student staff consists of eight workers and two student coordinators who are paid for their time, according to Director of Student Life Charles Matthews.

“There is only a certain amount of money for staffing, so we stay within that cap,” Matthews said. “[GLK doesn’t] have an income; we are allotted money and have to stay in that budget.”

The GLK budget is comprised of two-thirds programming money that the college allots for Late Knight as well as a separate third from Student Association, according to the Department of Student Life. In response to the budget shortfalls created by the increase in the minimum wage, GLK decreased workers hours. 

“Last semester, I checked the budget and I said to the crew that I would monitor where they were at with assigning hours,” Matthews said. “I believe that they drew back on the amount of hours.”

According to the Department of Student Life, the GLK budget is devoted to entertainment and decoration costs, as well as staffing. 

“While minimum wage continues to go up, the state doesn’t allot any sort of funding to fill the gaps,” Matthews said. “I am having the same issues here in the College Union with my work-study students.”

According to Associate Director of Student Life Tiffany Brodner, the day-to-day budgeting for GLK can become complicated given the differences between different organizations’ events. 

“It is hard to determine how much money will be spent on an event,” Brodner said. “Depending on the organization that is involved in the planning, events vary in cost.”

According to the GLK website, there are 70 past co-sponsoring/hosting organizations that work with Geneseo Late Knight. These organizations are mainly clubs or Greek organizations.

“Most of our programming is student organization grant-based,” Brodner said. “Student organizations will reach out to us to try and plan programs. Based on what that event is, we will create a budget with that organization. We work together to see if they will contribute any money to fill all of those gaps.” 

All student staff and coordinators associated with GLK who were sought comment for this article declined to comment.