The new budget includes increases in ASUCD employee pay rates and the number of paid workers
By ISABELLA KRZESNIAK — firstname.lastname@example.org
ASUCD recently held budget hearings for the 2022-23 school year. As part of a continuing effort from ASUCD to more fairly compensate those who work as part of the association, according to 2021-22 Internal Vice President Juliana Martinez Hernandez, the new budget includes increases in employee pay rates.
Sixty-two stipend positions are now paid hourly wages, 81 volunteer positions will now receive pay and a portion of existing positions already compensated on an hourly basis will receive a pay increase.
“There’s been a pretty large movement to get more volunteers paid,” said 2021-22 Academic Affairs Commission (AAC) Chair Gabriela Tsudik. “The association would fall apart without volunteers and the hard work they do. They really do deserve to get paid, and I think people have been starting to realize that.”
Martinez Hernandez reactivated the previously defunct Personnel Committee in order to explore and solve pay equity issues within ASUCD, she said.
The committee made an effort to track the hours and type of work that ASUCD employees and volunteers performed this year in order to allocate salaries which compensated them appropriately.
However, the members of the committee struggled to collect enough data to make informed decisions about worker compensation due to a lack of participation in the tracking program, according to Martinez Hernandez.
“As a committee, we tried to improve the way we gather data […] through our tracking, and even just collecting more volunteer forms so that we’re aware of how many volunteers we have in the first place,” Martinez Hernandez said.
The Personnel Committee used the data they were able to collect to create the Hourly Wage Rate and Assistant Series Classification Levels Proposal, a nonbinding recommendation to the Senate which creates a framework for determining fair wages.
Stephen Fujimoto, the 2021-22 Research and Data Committee chairperson, is a strong advocate for increasing pay equity and worked within the Personnel Committee to keep the issue on the ASUCD agenda. Fujimoto’s role was previously unpaid, but since the new budget was passed, it will now be a paid position.
“I know how much work it takes to run a committee, be a committee chair, organize a bunch of fellow student volunteers and work on multiple projects at the same time,” Fujimoto said. “Even if I’m not going to be in the position next year, I want the person who’s succeeding me to be adequately and fairly compensated.”
The Personnel Committee also proposed the volunteer incentive line item, a part of the new budget which aims to recognize the work of unpaid volunteers within ASUCD.
“Unit directors can use the volunteer incentive line item to either disperse gift cards to volunteers or hold an event where volunteers can have free food and things like that,” Martinez Hernandez said. “That was one step that we took to better reward people for the work that they do, since volunteers in the association do a lot of great work, but they don’t get compensated for it yet.”
Despite committee progress this year, Tsudik said she believes that efforts to ensure pay equity are far from over.
“More things could be done with working on the budget more, but lots of these changes can’t be immediate,” Tsudik said. “A lot of people have to want that change, and obviously it takes a lot of time to legislate the process. [The budget] definitely isn’t comprehensive, and there’s so much work that needs to be done.”
Written by: Isabella Krzesniak — email@example.com