The University of New Mexico
Student Employment/ Work Study Office
Mesa Vista Hall
Fax: (505) 277-6925
TO: UNM Departments and Programs
FROM: Ronald S. Martinez, Director of Financial Aid
RE: Wage rates for Student Employees
Date: March 20, 2007
The setting of wage rates for UNM student employees is an institution-wide issue that has potential for
broad legal, policy, operational, and human resources ramifications affecting all departments and
campuses. This situation has become more acute with changes in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
and the way it is enforced, and, more recently, government action/proposals at all levels to raise minimum
As we go forward, it becomes increasingly important that a strategic approach to student employee wage
administration be adopted to ensure that consistency and equity is established and maintained across all
University constituencies with regards to the way we address student employee wages.
The current applicable minimum wage for student employees at UNM is $5.25/hr. This figure represents
the bottom wage level for Grade I in the current UNM Student Employment Pay Scale, which may be
viewed at http://www.unm.edu/~wsestudy/payscale.html
As you may be aware, on 1/1/07 the City of Albuquerque raised the minimum wage for City employees to
$6.75/hr. It is important to note that UNM is a State Agency, and not subject to this City regulation;
therefore, the University is not required to increase its wages to meet the new City ordinance. However,
it is important that we recognize the City of Albuquerque as a potential and immediate competitor for
UNM students seeking work.
Further, the New Mexico Legislature has raised the state minimum wage to $6.50hour, effective on
1/1/08 and to $7.50/hour on 1/1/09. As a State entity UNM must abide by any changes to New Mexico
minimum wage law.
New Change in UNM Student Minimum Wage
Step 1 - In line with the above considerations and recognizing the need to remain competitive with the
local job market UNM will implement a new minimum wage rate for student employees at $6.25/hour,
effective with the pay period that starts March 31, 2007. As of March 31, 2007 any student employee
being paid less than $6.25 per hour must be raised to $6.25. This will cause some salary compression that
will not be addressed until Phase I, Step 2.
Step 2 - July 7, 2007 all new student employees will be assigned pay rates according to a revised pay
scale. Existing employees will receive a “market adjustment” to the new rate applicable to the employee’s
current Grade and Step. Any further step increases for longevity (assuming satisfactory performance)
should be based on the following revised pay scale starting with the first new pay period of the fiscal year.
NEW UNM Student Pay Scale effective 7/07/2007
New Pay Step I Step II Step III Step IV Step V Step VI Step VII
Grade I $6.25 $6.50 $6.75 $7.00 $7.25 $7.50 $7.75
Grade II $6.75 $7.00 $7.25 $7.50 $7.75 $8.00 $8.25
Grade III $7.25 $7.50 $7.75 $8.00 $8.25 $8.50 $8.75
Grade IV $9.50 $10.25 $11.00 $11.75 $12.50 $13.25 $14.00
Phase II. –When Governor Richardson signs the new minimum wage law, UNM will be mandated to
comply with the new minimum wage and effective dates. The above pay scale will then be revised
accordingly. The following Phase II Proposed Pay Scale shows the potential effect of a minimum wage
increase to $6.50.
Phase II: Proposed Pay Scale: effective date in law when signed
Proposed Step I Step II Step III Step IV Step V Step VI Step VII
Grade I $6.50 $6.75 $7.00 $7.25 $7.50 $7.75 $8.00
Grade II $7.00 $7.25 $7.50 $7.75 $8.00 $8.25 $8.50
Grade III $7.50 $7.75 $8.00 $8.25 $8.50 $8.75 $9.00
Grade IV $9.50 $10.25 $11.00 $11.75 $12.50 $13.25 $14.00
We are providing you with this information on the proposed Phase II pay scale in advance, as future
budgetary concerns are a factor in all pay decisions, and to the extent feasible, departments/programs
should be given the opportunity to (a) determine the budgetary impact of these changes and, (b) make
preparations within acceptable timing parameters to implement necessary wage adjustments as their
individual budgets allow. It is not anticipated that College Work-Study Program funding will be
increased as a result of any minimum wage increases.
1.) In establishing student employee wage rates it is important to consider not only pay equity among
student employees, but also pay consistency and equity with respect to staff employees. It is therefore
important that student wage rates do not exceed those of staff employees performing similar or higher
level work. In this context it is important to note that, unlike UNM staff salaries or in off-campus work,
student wages at UNM are not subject to FICA or Medicare deductions (just under 8% of gross salary).
This differential must be considered when comparing student wage rates with staff wage rates to ensure
2.) When job duties and responsibilities are increased for a student employee in Grades I or II,
departments may not upgrade the individual by more than one grade in the pay scale, annually, without
prior authorization from Student Employment. Requests for upgrades from Grade III to Grade IV, or for
upgrades beyond one grade, must be accompanied by written justification from the manager explaining
the significant additional duties and responsibilities that warrant such an upgrade. Such requests are
subject to audit and will be considered for approval case-by-case, based upon the written justification, and
must be approved by the Student Employment Manager or her Supervisor. If an employee completely
changes jobs, within a unit, his or her pay shall be based on the appropriate grade for that job and shall be
placed at the appropriate step of that grade as indicated on the July 7, 2007 pay scale.
Contact Student Employment staff at 277-3511 if you have questions about this memorandum.