Carnegie Mellon University

Hourly Student Employment Update
Effective November 7, 2022

In Fall 2021, a whitepaper was published by the Carnegie Mellon University Undergraduate Student Senate Committee on Business Affairs regarding the “CMU Student Labor Situation” with recommendations that focused on three areas: 1) wage and transparency with recruiting and hiring consistencies; 2) minimum wage and TA increase to $11/hour over 5 years, and 3) focus on workplace culture.

In Spring 2022, a working group comprised of student government leaders and staff from HR, Student Affairs and two academic units met to review benchmark data, CMU data, CMU hourly student employment practices that informed several recommendations that were advanced to university leadership in Fall 2022. Approved recommendations included: 1) efforts to improve consistency and transparency in the hourly student recruitment and hiring processes with goal of ensuring an equitable student experience; 2) an adjustment to the hourly student worker minimum wage; differentiating job and pay levels for hourly TA’s, and 3) an adjustment to the Federal Work Study limits.

Consistency and Transparency in the Hourly Student Recruitment and Hiring Processes

  • Streamline communications on CPDC-Student Affairs, Financial Services-Enrollment and Student Worker Services-Human Resources websites
  • Campaign to educate academic and administrative departments on Student Employment resources
  • Review of hourly student job profiles and any recommended updates by HR Compensation

Adjustment to the Hourly Student Worker Minimum Wage

  • Implement a new student minimum wage of $10.00 per hour
  • Increase of $1.75 per hour from current student minimum wage of $8.25 per hour
  • All hourly student worker positions earning less than $10.00 per hour will be transitioned to new minimum wage
  • Jurisdictional rates for CMU locations outside of Pittsburgh that are above $10.00 per hour will continue to be applied for positions that are based in the specific geographical location

Differentiating Job and Pay Levels for Hourly Teaching Assistant Positions

  • Create 3 different job profiles for teaching assistants based on broad level of responsibility and create minimum pay rates for each level with 2 phases of implementation – see below table
  • Create Best Practices to assist in determining pay rate differential considerations

Adjustment to the Federal Work Study (FWS) Limits

  • Increase undergraduate FWS hourly wage limit from $12.00 to $13.00
  • Increase graduate FWS hourly wage limit from $16.00 to $17.00

 *Undergraduate and graduate roles that are paid hourly by a hiring department. This is not applicable to Ph.D. or Master’s students who serve as TA’s and RA’s as part of their academic program in exchange for stipend.