There’s a little more money in students’ pockets these days

Desmond Ramirez, Staff Writer

Greeley West students who work various jobs are looking for more hours in the New Year.  Thanks to a minimum wage increase, students are making more money than before and are enjoying the perks of having more cash in their wallets.

The Colorado Department of Labor & Employment increased the minimum wage of workers from $12.56 an hour to $13.65 an hour starting on January 1. Students are now earning more money per hour, which pushes the agenda of Spartans to go and work more.  Many Spartans are affected by this change  such as Senior Ella Wilcox. 

Wilcox is a Barista at Human Bean and works over 20 hours a week.  “It is nice to see an increase of wage, among my peers and co-workers on how much they are going to benefit. Some of them need to pay bills so it’s going to benefit not just me but the people around me,” Wilcox said.

The wage increase isn’t going to affect just Spartans, it’s going to aid people across the state who are now earning a bit more money to help with their everyday necessities.  That includes people who work at Greeley West in various capacities.  For example, teachers who work scoreboard or keep books at varsity events will also receive more money for covering those games. 

One group of students who will not benefit from the minimum wage increase is those who work in the service industry.  Waitstaff typically makes under minimum wage and is supplemented financially by their tips.  Senior Olivia Pearson, who is a Barista at Berry Blendz, is one of these students who was already making above minimum wage on average.  “We didn’t get a wage increase (because) I get paid under minimum wage plus tips so it evens out.” 

Pearson added, “This wage increase doesn’t affect me as much, however I’m still going to work, get more money. To go work on my off-time so then I can keep on saving more money for my future.”

Senior Jose Roman who works at Cafe MexiCali is excited to work during more busy hours.  “Getting notified from my work in a meeting that I am going to be paid more makes working more enjoyable. Coming in and knowing I’m going to make a bit more money, makes it better to deal with rushes,” Roman said.   

Roman is not working as many hours right now becuase of basektball commitments.  But that will change soon.  “As soon as basketball season is over, I’m going to start working more, especially knowing that I’m going to be earning a bit more money in every paycheck.”