Student employees see new timekeeping sytem, possible increases in wages

By Tressa Versteeg

Beginning in Fall 2008 student employees might be jingling a little more change in their pockets. If the Board of Trustees passes a proposal in early March, all student wages will increase by 30 cents per hour.This proposal is designed to keep up with the increasing state and federal minimum wage, said Mary Williams, student employment administrator. Williams’s intent is to raise work-study wages by 30 cents for the 2008-09 school year and by 35 cents more the next year when the minimum wage will reach $7.25 per hour.

“[The wage increase] is going to allow students to earn more money,” Williams said. “The financial aid award plan is to increase as well, which will allow students to earn more also.

“Any time wages go up it’s a good thing.”

“I think that a raise would be great because we are underpaid now,” Emily Pancoast ’11 said. “Minimum wage in Colorado, where I am from, is higher than what I’m getting paid here.”

In addition to a possible wage change, the student employment system has seen other changes this year. This fall, an online timekeeping system replaced time sheets for all student work.

“It makes it a lot easier for payroll and everything is kind of going to be online nowadays, that’s kind of a natural progression that would happen,” Williams said.

According to Human Resources Business Analyst Abraham Noel, there were many reasons to switch to an online system, including off-campus access through 1600grand, its security and reliability, and its potential improvement in administrative efficiency and environmental impact.

“[The online timekeeping payroll] has taken a process that took multiple days and multiple people working on it and turned it into a process that can be managed in a couple hours of time and by one person,” Noel said.

The transition from a paper to electronic system went fairly smoothly, Noel said. Students and supervisors adjusted easily, especially after many training sessions.

Noel said the biggest issue right now is payroll deadlines, as students forget to fill out timesheets and supervisors sometimes forget to approve them. The payroll staff has started sending an e-mail reminder to help alleviate the problem, but it still occasionally occurs.

“Our goal with this issue is to get the number of people who miss a payroll run down to zero while simultaneously getting everyone paid on time,” Noel said.

Williams has not heard any objections to the online system, aside from initial confusion during its first few weeks. However, there seem to be some minor complaints about the system

“One thing I don’t like about it is that even though I work the same hours every week, I have to enter in all my hours day by day by day,” Vera Sidlova ’11 said. “It would be really nice if it was just set to my hours, and there could be a way to edit it if I didn’t work my normal hours.”

Williams said the online timekeeping system will remain the same next year. Due to many requests, this online system will be used for staff this spring and summer as well.