Student-worker pay determined by job responsibilities

Daily Sundial

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Students seeking employment on campus may notice differences among wages between jobs within different campus departments.

According to Ossana Terterian, human resources assistant for the University Student Union, this is due to a tier system that categorizes on-campus positions in terms of difficulty.

The class system, Terterian said, was established and approved by a USU committee, and enables students to move up as they gain experience and attain favorable work evaluations.

“(Student assistant) jobs (within the USU) are separated by a class system, degree of difficulty and experience,” Terterian said.

For instance, a person who starts a job within the USU at Class No. 1 would make minimum wage, $6.75 per hour. After three months, they would be in the next range, Class No. 2, and make $7.25 per hour. After the three-month period, evaluations occur every six months. Class No. 7 is the highest range a USU student assistant can attain, at $10.75 per hour.

According to Terterian, student assistants hired for a job that requires more experience or abilities, such as technical or computer skills, may be hired at a higher class level than a student given a basic, highly supervised position.

“A lot of our student assistant employees are not doing typical student assistant jobs,” said Barbra Frye, program coordinator for the College of Extended Learning. “They need to have a lot of technical skills. They’re not filing or making copies like typical student assistants.”

Frye recently posted a notice around campus for a job opening for a student assistant in the College of Extended Learning. The poster stated that the starting pay is between $10 and $14.

The College of Extended Learning can afford to pay student assistants these wages because the college is self-supported, and because student assistants have such a high set of skills that they are considered to be on the same level as other employees in the college, Frye said.

“We don’t consider them students assistants,” Frye said. “We think of them as part-time staff.”

University departments hire student assistants much in the same way as the USU. Students are hired into one of four classes, depending on the kind of supervision the job requires.

A Class I job requires students to be under immediate supervision, whereas a Class IV job, according to the Student Assistant and Work-Study Compensation Plan, is one with highly complex assignments that enhance the educational objectives of the department, student population or the academic research of the department.

Ashley Reese, sophomore psychology major, said she has been working in the Work-Study office as a receptionist for nine months, and said she sees a difference between the wages and responsibilities of her current job, compared to those of her former campus job in Admissions and Records.

“I earn more money (in the work-study office) than before, because I have more responsibilities,” Reese said.

Her current responsibilities include greeting students when they come into the office, answering questions and manning the phones, Reese said.

As of March 2005, there are more than 1,300 student assistant employees working on campus.