New sick leave requirements may affect how the AS functions
By Julia Berkman
Former salaried employees in the Associated Students may face difficulties in the future now that all AS employees are paid by the hour, with only the AS Board remaining salaried .
This change is leaving some formerly-salaried employees worried about their uncertain futures.
AS Personnel Director Alex Martinez said the switch from salaried to hourly comes from state-mandated paid sick leave. The mandate comes from a statewide initiative that passed in 2016.
All AS employees are eligible to receive paid sick leave on a ratio of 40 hours worked to one hour of paid sick leave.
According to KUGS Program Director Steven Wright, the paid sick leave probably won’t benefit a lot of AS employees.
“I mean, it’s ridiculous. By the end of this school year I might earn enough for one day of [paid] sick leave,” he said. However, Wright acknowledged that the paid sick leave would be beneficial for full-time minimum wage workers, who often have to decide between staying home or working when they’re sick.
“The only thing that had me worried initially was breaks,” Wright said.
Many AS employees are concerned about the fact that they won’t be paid over break, as opposed to when they were salaried.
“It’s nice to have a reliable source of income,” said AS Productions Logistics Coordinator Pauline Elevazo. She’s concerned that now, her paychecks may be proportionally bigger, but her pay over break will be miniscule.
“We can’t just get a job for a week over break and then dip,” Elevazo said.
According to Katie Wallis, the AS Womxns’ Identity Resource Center Coordinator, paychecks that salaried employees were receiving were actually less than minimum wage per paycheck, but were spread evenly over breaks and times that employees did not work.
One thing that hasn’t been as big of a big concern is working overtime.
“I think there were a lot of people in the AS who were worried at first,” Wright said. Program Directors in particular were worried that they would have to report working more than 19 hours a week.
Most people at the AS already know to balance their time. According to Wright and Elevazo, it’s easy to go over 15 hours one week and keep your next week “chiller” in order to stay under 30 hours.
But sometimes, that doesn’t happen.
In the AS Productions office, events like Lawnstock or Late Night can have employees working 12 hours in one day.
“After Lawnstock, I’m gonna have to turn off my phone, like- don’t call me, don’t email me,” said Dayjha McMillan, AS Productions Pop Music Coordinator.
Other offices might have to find other solutions.
“Offices may need to get more staff because there are people who are overworked,” Wallis said.
“I feel like other AS offices may have to change their entire culture… The conversation needs to be had within each department and job descriptions might need to change,” he said.