OT pay proposal is promising

Daily Editorial Board

More University of Minnesota staff may soon be better compensated for their work. The United States Department of Labor announced a new proposal in July that would raise the salary eligibility threshold for overtime pay from $23,660 to $50,440.
 
Nationwide, approximately 5 million workers would experience a raise as a result of this proposal, which would take effect next year if approved. Within the University, expanding the salary threshold for overtime pay has the potential to benefit all members of the community, not just those who would receive new compensation.
 
Under the new proposal, many University recipients of new overtime pay would be administrative and civil service employees. These types of workers interact closely with the individual needs and concerns of students — arguably more often than many professors who lecture to large classrooms. For example, administrative staff often works individually with students to help them navigate complicated bureaucratic procedures. Paying these staff overtime benefits rewards the individualized, above-and-beyond
work most of them already do. 
 
We believe people who are fairly compensated do better work. Overtime protections for the University’s white-collar workers would equip them to better help students. A school with an efficient, well-managed student support system would continue to draw diverse and talented students.
 
Staff members earning less than $50,440 in annual salary are crucial to the success of the University and other large organizations nationwide. We support the federal government’s recognition of their importance and urge regulators to make this proposition official policy.