The amount of money students pay the University next year may be headed for a small hike, but it’s not from rising tuition.

At ASUM’s Wednesday night meeting, Rosi Keller, associate vice president of administration and finance at UM, told the council about a possible $28.95 fee increase students would pay along with tuition starting fiscal year 2014.

Students would pay more for health service, campus recreation, ASUM transportation and University Center operation and renovation fees, all non-state funded agencies, Keller said.

UM wants to raise salaries for its non-state employees, in conjunction with pay raises for its state employees, Keller said. State employees include professors and administration.

“It’s a little bit of an oxymoron, in that we’re advocating for lower tuition costs, but better professors, while at the same time supporting an increased pay plan,” said ASUM Vice President Bryn Hagfors.

Under House Bill 13, state employees could receive a maximum 5 percent pay raise for fiscal years 2014 and 2015. The potential $28.95 fee is based on a 3 percent pay plan being considered by the Montana Legislature this session, Keller said.

“The fee will change by whatever the pay plan will be,” Keller said. “We use 3 (percent) as a midpoint.”

ASUM voted to support HB13, despite the increases in fees, Hagfors said. The bill would help to attract high quality faculty to the University, he said.

Among the fees expected to rise with passage of HB13, students will spend the most on health services fees, Keller said.  The fee will increase by $15.75 to a total figure of $227.50 for each student.

“The increase in health service fees are really driven by health care costs, and in particular that their services for doctors and nurses are really high,” Keller said.

ASUM also voted to increase the base hour pay of its student resolution officer and business manager.

ASUM pays the employees in base hour compensation, where the employee receives payment at around minimum wage for a set amount of hours every month. 

ASUM voted to increase the amount of hours the student resolution officer can be paid by 10 hours, totaling 30 hours per month he or she can earn. The position also got a raise to a dollar more than minimum wage, a 75-cent increase. The business manager also received a raise of 20 payable hours per month, allowing the position up to 70 hours of pay per month.

“The increases would be minimal but it certainly bolsters that position and makes it more competitive,” said ASUM President Zach Brown.

Jackson.bolstad@umontana.edu

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