Nice Time! Kentucky State University President Decides To Raise Minimum Wage His Own Damn Self


Time for a reprieve from the bullshit and terribleness out there (looking at you, “Dr.” Ben Carson). We bring you to Kentucky, in praise of Raymond Burse, the interim President of Kentucky State University. Why should he get praise, and not the sharp end of our forked tongue? Because he is a giant among men and women, for he has managed to warm that cold spot in our chest where our heart should be.

Burse was concerned that some employees of Kentucky State made only $7.25 per hour, the federal minimum wage. So he decided to bring everyone’s wages up to at least $10.25 per hour in the best way possible: by cutting his own salary to make up the difference.

According to the Washington Post, there were 24 employees at the school who made less than $10.25 per hour, mostly “custodial staff, groundskeepers and lower-end clerical workers.” When Burse took over as interim president early in the summer, he asked the school’s chief financial officer how much it would cost to raise everyone’s salary up to $10.25 per hour. The CFO came back with an answer: $90,000.

How did Burse respond?

"I figured it was easier for me to forgo that amount, rather than adding an additional burden on the institution," Burse says. "I had been thinking about it almost since the day they started talking to me about being interim president."

But Burse did not stop there. He was determined not only to be awesome, but fucking unbelievably awesome:

He has pledged to take further salary cuts any time new minimum-wage employees are hired on his watch, to bring their hourly rate to $10.25.

Burse will be reducing his salary from $349k to about $259k, or by more than 25%. He won’t be in the poorhouse -- is that a million dollars in Kentucky? It is, right? But still.

Why would Burse do such a thing? Perhaps he was influenced by the heartless asshats in the Kentucky state senate:

Earlier this year, the Kentucky House passed a bill to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 by July 2016, but the bill failed to pass the state's Senate.

Maybe. But Burse did not take this opportunity to slam the heartless dicks in the KY senate, because he is a Better Person than us. No, he did what he did because he is a decent person:

"I did it to do right by the employees here."

Just to do right by employees. That’s it. Because employees work hard. Groundskeepers have to work in the hot July sun to keep the campus looking nice when spoiled rich millennials come to see if they want to get their "education" there. Custodial staff clean up after self-centered college dickweasels. Clerical staff do grunt work for low wages and the hope of a card on Secretary’s Administration Professional’s Day. Well, Burse thought it was bullshit that they did all this for so little in return. He wanted to make sure they knew that they were appreciated. We’ll give him the last word:

Burse describes himself as someone who believes in raising wages, and who also has high expectations and demands for his staff. "I thought that if I'm going to ask them to really be committed and give this institution their all, I should be doing something in return," Burse says. "I thought it was important."

[Washington Post]

Follow DDM on Twitter (@Wonksplainer), where he will snark once his eyes stop being all misty.


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