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University of Rochester raises minimum wage to $15 an hour

The University of Rochester said is committing to setting its minimum wage at $15 an hour by December 2022.

University of Rochester President Sarah Manglesdorf said the commitment to the $15 an hour minimum wage is an acknowledgment of the university’s obligation as the area’s largest employer and also being committed to efforts at dealing with structural racism.

Aqua Porter, executive director of the Rochester Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative, said this is a very important step for the university and the community. She said it will help not only those making less than $15 an hour, but it will also help raise wages for other UR workers.

“The other conversation that we’re beginning to have is how do you make sure that those workers also have career paths and ladders so that they can continue to raise their wages so that they can become self-sufficient,” Porter said.

UR says that roughly 1,200 full- and part-time staffers will be impacted by the wage hike, with many in jobs like the call centers, clerical, environmental services, food and nutrition and entry-level clinical jobs. The increase to $15 an hour will happen in two stages - the first in December 2021, and then the second in December 2022.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.