Sunday, March 18 , 2018, 9:46 am | Fair 51º


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University of California Makes First Wage Increase to $13 Per Hour

Some 3,200 employees of the University of California System will get a raise Thursday, with minimum wage seeing its first bump toward the $15 an hour promised in 2017.

Minimum wage climbs to $13 an hour for workers hired at any of 10 UC campuses logging at least 20 hours a week, both direct hires and contract employees.

Another several thousand contract employees will also see the increase, said Rebecca Trounson, a UC Office of the President spokeswoman.

UC President Janet Napolitano unveiled the Fair Wage/Fair Work Plan in July ahead of a planned California state minimum wage increase from $9 to $10 an hour beginning Jan. 1, 2016.

The mandated UC minimum wage will increase again to $14 an hour on Oct. 1, 2016 and to $15 an hour on Oct. 1, 2017.

At UC Santa Barbara, just six employees will be impacted, five of which are part time, according to university spokesman George Foulsham.

He couldn’t say which departments the employees hailed from or why the number was so small.

“My understanding is it’s more retail shops and that sort of thing,” said Trounson, who didn’t know how many of the impacted UC employees were students.

All contractors doing business with UC must comply with government and university workplace laws and policies.

So far, Trounson said UC has gotten “very positive” feedback nationwide about its move to become the first public university in the U.S. to establish a $15 minimum wage voluntarily.

No word yet on whether the decision will prompt other institutions to follow suit.

The UC System is California’s third largest employer — falling short of the federal and state governments — with about 195,000 employees at 10 campuses, five medical centers, three national labs, the Office of the President, the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources and others.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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