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With New Fiscal Year, HSA Raises Its Minimum Pay to $12

By David E. Stein
By Maddie Sewani, Crimson Staff Writer

Harvard Student Agencies—the College’s largest student-run corporation—will implement an organization-wide minimum wage-raise at the beginning of the its fiscal year on Saturday, Feb. 1. The new policy, which will increase starting pay to $12 from $1o for all hourly workers, impacts more than 100 current HSA employees.

HSA President Ryley R. Reynolds ’15 said that the corporation made raising starting pay a priority during the budget process over the past few months in accordance with its mission.

“Most people don’t know this about us, but we’re a nonprofit: our goal is to employ students and offer them business experience,” she said. “And, as I like to say, to give Harvard students agency.”

According to Reynolds, the new policy will most affect students employed by HSA Cleaners and The Harvard Shop. Staff of other agencies, such as HSA tutoring, already receive starting compensation above the new $12 per hour minimum.

HSA employs approximately 450 students annually across its 14 business units, which include HSA Dorm Essentials, the Let’s Go travel guide, and the Harvard Bartending Course. In total, the company brings in roughly $4 million in revenue each year, according to its website. It only employs Harvard students.

“We say that HSA provides quality work with quality pay, and that is definitely true,” said Ali N. Bayar ’15, managing director of The Harvard Shop.

According to HSA Cleaners Managing Director Michael D. Julian ’15, all employees were notified of the change by email on Wednesday. Some workers who were present in the store that day were informed in-person.

“We have awesome employees, and I think this is a great way to show our appreciation for all the hard work they do,” Julian said.

“I am, of course, very excited about the raise,” Kristina Arakelyan ’14, a sales associate at The Harvard Shop, wrote in an email.

Reynolds emphasized HSA’s high wage as an incentive for students to seek employment at HSA in lieu of work at other institutions in the Square.

"Massachusetts’s minimum wage is only $8,” she said.

Arakelyan echoed Reynolds’ sentiments. “I hope that the more competitive salary will encourage more students to become members of this wonderfully close-knit student-run organization,” she said.

—Staff writer Maddie Sewani can be reached at maddie.sewani@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @maddiesewani.

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