Elizabeth Martinez

According to a recent report from the Ohio Department of Commerce, minimum wage in Ohio will remain the same for the year 2010.

“It will stay at $7.30 for non-tipped employees and $3.65 for tipped employees,” said Dennis Ginty, representative of the Ohio Department of Commerce.

Ginty said the decision to keep the minimum wage constant with 2009’s amount was based on an Ohio constitutional amendment passed by voters in November 2006 that states “minimum wage will increase on Jan. 1 in accordance to the rate of inflation for urban and clerical wages.”

The rate of inflation decreased this year and therefore, in accordance with the amendment, “it does not provide any change in minimum wage.”

The Consumer Prize Index (CPI) reported a 0.2 percent decrease in 2009. Spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Commerce, Matt Mullin, said minimum wage rates are tied to the CPI because it provides beginning and end dates to measure inflation. Ginty said because the decrease was a marginal figure, minimum wage would not have increased regardless.

The Miami University community is also affected by Ohio’s decision to keep minimum wage static. If student employee wages stay the same for next school year, some students said those students who have to pay for school themselves may suffer.

“If (in-state) student tuition and fees are rising next year then it seems unfair that minimum wage isn’t,” sophomore Logan King said.

Mullis said once the economy begins to improve, minimum wage will hopefully be able to increase in the near future.

“There is always the potential hope that once 2011 rolls around and the inflation rate is re-evaluated, minimum wage will be able to increase,” Mullin said.