During Tuesday’s election, the question of raising minimum wage was an important aspect of the ballot. The results show that 67% of Milwaukee County voters were in favor of increasing the minimum wage from the current $7.25/hour to $10.10/hour.
This change would be huge for college students at UWM. A good majority of us go for a convenient job on campus, where the commute isn’t long and the employers are willing to go directly around class schedules.
Unfortunately, most of us who opt for an on-campus job will most likely end up starting out at minimum wage.
I hate to break it to you guys, but the dream of having a minimum wage, on or off-campus job, that pays $10.10/hour is probably not going to happen. And it sucks.
Although an overwhelming majority of Milwaukee County voters are in support of this wage increase, Scott Walker has stated on different occasions that he is opposed to the idea of increasing the minimum wage. And since Walker beat out Democratic candidate Mary Burke, who avidly supported the increase, I doubt that he is likely to budge on the issue.
“I’m not going to repeal it, but I don’t think it serves a purpose,” said Walker while discussing possible minimum wage increases during an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial board in mid-October.
During this interviewed, Walker made it seem like he wants to put more effort into creating jobs that start out higher than minimum wage rather than to just increase it.
This idea may work in the long run, but for students like us at UWM, we’re stuck in a rut and can feel the quicksand strengthening amidst false hope. Living off of minimum wage is damn near impossible, with many of our rents being more than $400/month per person, usually not including utilities.
Working on the current $7.25/hour minimum wage, or close to, as a student means that having a savings account is almost a comical concept. And let’s not even get started on attempting to pay off that mountain of student loan debt that has been piling up in the backyard.
So in the meantime, don’t get your hopes up too far about the minimum wage increase, because although the majority voted for it, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen. So yea, you might want to ask for that raise sometime this week.