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Duke to increase minimum wage for students and employees effective July 1

It’s been eight months since the Karsh Office of Financial Support said they expected to move all work-study positions to a minimum wage of $15 an hour, and the pay raise is now imminent.

Effective July 1, the minimum wage for general student job postings will increase to $15 per hour, a jump from the $10.50 baseline currently outlined by the Karsh Office of Undergraduate Financial Support. The minimum wage for specialized student jobs will increase to $16 per hour from the current $11.50 rate. 

Maximum wages will also rise, with general assistant positions increasing from $16.50 to $19.50 per hour and specialized assistant positions increasing from $19.50 to $22.50 per hour. A full outline of the proposed changes can be found in a memo obtained by The Chronicle, sent from Kimberley Harris, associate vice provost and director of academic human resources services, to various deans, directors and program heads in December 2021. 

Student pay rates are determined based on what category a given position falls under. The first category, “Student Assistants: General,” includes office support, service workers, general library support and program support. The second category, “Student Assistants: Specialized,” includes advanced tutors, research assistants and students performing advanced technical or computing tasks. 

Students on work-study for summer session I will still be paid between $10.25 and $16.25 per hour for general positions and between $11.25 and 19.25 per hour for specialized positions, according to verification notices from the Karsh Office. Summer session I ends June 23, about a week before the new minimum wage is set to take effect.

Employee minimum wage increases

Employee minimum wage will now also increase to $17 per hour for all eligible Duke employees, according to a press release. The new wage will go into effect on July 1.

The minimum wage for eligible Duke employees and full-time contract workers is currently $15 per hour, a wage that was set in 2019. The federal and state minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. 

The new wage applies to all eligible “regular University and Health System staff,” meaning those working at least 20 hours per week, 36 weeks per year. This covers 3,100 Duke staff members. Since students cannot work more than 19.9 hours per week, they are assigned the $15 baseline wage.

The press release stipulates that positions that are covered under a collective bargaining agreement “will be addressed under the provision of the contract.”


Preetha Ramachandran | Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator

Preetha Ramachandran is a Trinity senior and diversity, equity and inclusion coordinator for The Chronicle's 118th volume. She was previously senior editor for Volume 117.


Nadia Bey | Digital Strategy Director

Nadia Bey is a Trinity senior and digital strategy director for The Chronicle’s 118th volume. She was previously managing editor for Volume 117.


Gautam Sirdeshmukh | Staff Reporter

Gautam Sirdeshmukh is a Trinity senior and a staff reporter for the news department. He was previously the health & science news editor of The Chronicle's 117th volume.

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