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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Student employees about to receive raise- Trustees approve pay rate increase starting Sept. 1 in an effort to help rising costs

Vanessa+Gonzalez+and+Mia+Perez+takes+down+students+orders+at+the+TR+campus+Ariel+Desantiago%2FThe+Collegian
Vanessa Gonzalez and Mia Perez takes down students orders at the TR campus Ariel Desantiago/The Collegian
Vanessa Gonzalez and Mia Perez takes down students orders at the TR campus Ariel Desantiago/The Collegian
Vanessa Gonzalez and Mia Perez takes down students orders at the TR campus
Ariel Desantiago/The Collegian

ALEX HOBEN
editor-in-chief
alexandra.hoben@my.tccd.edu

Students who work on campus will soon see their pay increase to $15 per hour.

When the board of trustees approved the budget at its Aug. 18 meeting, TCC employees received a 5% pay increase, and the student workers’ pay rate rose as well. This takes effect Sept. 1 and will be reflected in paychecks after that. Chief operating officer Susan Alanis highlighted this increase in her presentation to the board.

“Starting this fall, we actually increased the minimum rate for students to be hired to $15 as well,” Alanis said. “Hopefully, that will encourage students to get a good positive experience here. I think they fare well in terms of completion by having employment on campus as well.”

TCC sent out a districtwide email a couple of days after letting students know of the new pay rate, encouraging them to apply across the campuses. Alanis explained this rate will help bring in more student employees needed by TCC.

“We’re competing with every employer out there that’s hiring at that level,” she said. “So we were having difficulty giving students an experience and filling some of our administrative needs on the campuses well.”

Students before made anywhere from $8.79-$12 an hour. NE Campus career services student worker Sarah Mendoza provided details on how the pay rate proposal was formed.

“The career services departments at all campuses have been working on the proposal for this pay raise for quite a while,” Mendoza said. “They compared the pay rate at TCC to other universities and community colleges’ pay rate for their students as well as factored in the increase in cost of living over the last few years. It was a very in-depth proposal.”

Mendoza also gave additional information on the specifics of the pay rate increase.

“There is no longer a pay scale. All student workers will be paid a flat rate of $15 per hour,” Mendoza said. “It is unclear if there will still be different position types or if we will transition into a general student employment position.”

Mendoza explained how on NE Campus, many positions need to be filled, and  any students looking to apply can do so through the TCC student employment application at jobs.tccd.edu.

When she heard about the pay raise, NE student worker and peer leader Ren Maenza-Oliver was excited but confused.

“I wasn’t sure if it was, like, being implemented at our campus,” Maenza-Oliver said. “I just thought it was at other campuses.”

She said she wasn’t sure whether the new pay would be a flat rate across the positions or if there would be a scale like the previous rate. But she said how anything would be an improvement.

“I’m not asking questions. If you’re telling me I get $15 an hour, I am cool with that,” Maenza-Oliver said. “Since I have worked for the school for a few years now, it was kind of getting to the point where I was wanting to ask for a raise, but I haven’t really been in the student activities office long enough to ask.”

Maenza-Oliver said she has been employed in some fashion at TCC since 2019, and it has helped her feel more like an adult and has boosted her love of TCC and the community within it.

“It’s made me feel more confident,” she said. “So I’ve gotten to learn a lot more about the college and what we do. And it’s just fueled my love for it.”

But some of Maenza-Oliver’s colleagues are disappointed by the news of this pay increase because they were already getting paid near that amount so now the work they’ve put into reaching their senior positions is being negated.

“They’ve been here for, like, four or five years,” she said. “So I think that it would be nice to have a pay scale that goes by, obviously, performance and then seniority.”

Nonetheless, she believes this pay increase will help out students immensely in this period of financial uncertainty.

“With inflation and the cost of everything going up, it is important to help people meet those requirements,” Maenza-Oliver said. “Our apartments need three times their rent. And I’m sorry, but no one can afford that. No one is doing that.”

Mendoza explained that this pay increase was made with those financial needs in mind.

“We know that many students face challenges like food, housing and child care access so we hope this wage increase will help support the financial stability and academic success of our student employees,” Mendoza said.

Maenza-Oliver is excited to see more students apply and get the opportunity to learn and grow in a student employee position like she did, now with a higher wage.

“We’re all different ages, all different types of people,” she said. “So it’s nice to know that whether you’re 18 or 54,  you can have a job at TCC and make a decent amount of money.”

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