The University of Washington said Friday it’s increasing the minimum wage of its student workers to $11 an hour — a move that will affect about 2,600 students.

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The University of Washington said Friday it’s increasing the minimum wage of its student workers to $11 an hour — a move that will affect about 2,600 students.

The pay raise is retroactive to April 1.

Seattle’s minimum-wage law went into effect April 1, requiring that large employers within the city pay their workers at least $11 an hour, and $15 an hour by 2018 at the latest.

Raising student wages has been a main focus of recent demonstrations at the UW, including one earlier this week that disrupted a dinner meeting of the UW regents.

The UW had said earlier that, because it is a state entity, it was unclear whether it needed to comply with the city law.

That point is still unclear, but on March 31, the UW said it was raising to $11 the wages of its non-student workers who were paid less than that — about 70 employees total.

The university also said, then, that it was working with student groups to see about increasing student wages.

“We’re excited by this step,” said student Garrett Strain of Friday’s wage increase for UW students. Strain is a graduate student at the UW’s Evans School of Public Affairs and one of the organizers of the recent demonstrations.

“Just days before the Seattle minimum wage’s deadline, the UW had made no commitment to raise the wages of employees who made below $11,” Strain said. “So this reversal is a huge victory for students and workers who campaigned in solidarity for the UW to do the right thing.”

But, he added, “we’re not going to stop campaigning until the UW agrees to raise the wages of all workers, including student workers, to at least $15” according with the city’s minimum wage schedule.

Increasing the wages of some 2,600 students to $11 an hour will cost about $400,000, according to the UW.

That amount will have to come from either an increase in student activities fees, more money from the administration to support certain programs that employ students, and/or a reduction in programs, according to a UW committee that allocates student fees and that studied the impact of raising the minimum wage on its budget.

“The Committee felt raising the campus minimum wage was the right thing to do,” Mac Zellem, an economics major and chair of that committee, said in a university statement. “We want to ensure that student jobs remain competitive and that student workers are treated the same as their peers across campus and Seattle.”

At the same time, “increasing student wages to $11 will definitely have an impact on programs” funded by students’ activities fees, Zellem said in the statement.

Ana Mari Cauce, interim UW president, said in the UW statement that the committee “faced some hard choices, but I am pleased that we can now increase the minimum wage of all of our student workers — regardless of their source of funding. In doing so, we are acknowledging the spirit of Seattle’s effort and our commitment to treat every employee fairly.”

Future increases, Cauce warned, “may be more difficult to accomplish, but with continued input from our students we will make every effort to be in sync with the city that is so much a part of our identity.”

Interim Provost Jerry Baldasty is putting together a task force composed mostly of students to look into the impact of future student wage increases. The plan is for that group to have some recommendations by July 1, said UW spokesman Norm Arkans.