There is a similar question here that asks about how to proposition a raise. However, I don't believe my question is a duplicate specifically because I'm working as a student employee at a university, and I feel that the work climate as such is very different from industry.
TL; DR (too long; didn't read)
My typical job duties as a laboratory assistant are simple, but I do software development and soon teaching, as 'extras' in my typical work day. I feel that I deserve higher pay for doing these extra things, but I am lost as to how to ask for a (significant) raise in a student employee environment at a university.
The whole story
I've been working as a laboratory assistant for our language department for 2 years now, making $10/hour currently, which is more than most other students here who make minimum wage. My job description basically entails watching over the lab, making sure that students aren't abusing the computers/printer, helping them when they have technical questions, and handling faculty requests (digitizing films, doing such and such small project, etc.).
Over these years, I have completely renovated what my job description actually is by going above and beyond to create utilities and various automations to the 'core' tasks that used to be part of the job by coding a fairly substantial amount of scripts that run primarily through Google Forms/Google Sheets.
I won't list out everything that I've automated, but the majority of faculty requests are now automatically handled, which constituted about 33% of our workload 2 years ago. Currently I'm in the process of writing a full-fledged website to further automate things, make the resources we offer more accessible, and to simplify faculty and student interaction with them.
Coding is not, and never was, part of the job description (I am the only person of 11 that does this). I don't mind doing it because it's giving me valuable experience and will be something fantastic to put on my CV. However, I am tasked with handling our regular responsibilities on top of the now expectation that I continue to code these utilities/website.
I don't want to stop doing this work, because it really will change how students and faculty appreciate our lab, what we do, and what we offer. However, I feel that I am underpaid for the work I'm doing.
I work as a student employee, so there's almost an expectation that I will be paid low wages due to the university environment, federal work-study-related issues, etc. I am paid nowhere near what I would be paid if I were working in industry (even as a freelancer) because of this. Given that I'm a student employee, I feel that my boss, as much as he appreciates me and the work that I do, would have serious problems with increasing my pay to even $11/hour, for what I suspect are the following reasons:
- The jobs we do as student employees are generally not difficult at all (developing this software isn't that difficult, just time-consuming and mentally-fatiguing at times)
- Most students earn minimum wage (at least at my university...); employees of the lab I work in make about $1 more than minimum wage, so he's already spoiling us
- All student workers at my lab already receive a per-semester raise of $0.25/hour
- If I did get a raise and my co-workers found out, they would likely be upset about it as it would deviate from the normal per-semester raise detailed in #3
- There are departmental budget contraints (I believe) that influence student hourly rates
I could register my own LLC (I already do contract Android development as my second job, so it would probably benefit me there too). With an LLC, I could tally the hours that I spend developing software and/or teaching at a higher rate for the LLC, and any other hours I worked not doing extra tasks would be logged as 'normal' work hours. This would allow me to maintain a very obvious separation of my lab duties from non-lab duties, and make the pay difference clear.
However, I'm not sure that my boss would go for this because I've kind of 'merged' coding into my normal work and trying to change that might not pan out well. Furthermore, hiring a contractor (especially a student contractor who already works for the department) might be difficult in terms of university politics and departmental rules. I'm not an administrator, so I don't know how that works, but I suspect it just wouldn't.
So, how can I go about obtaining higher pay as a student employee?