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ST. LOUIS • Campus staff at Washington University will be paid a $15 an hour minimum wage by 2021, school officials announced this week.

The raise affects close to 1,200 regular and contract workers, but does not include working graduate students, according to the Service Employees International Union Local 1, which pushed for the increase.

A $15 minimum wage across the region was one of the recommendations of the 2015 Forward through Ferguson report to address racial and economic inequality.

The university's minimum wage will increase to $12.65 an hour on July 1, $13.80 an hour in July 2020, and $15 an hour by July 2021.

"I have made this decision after an inclusive, thoughtful and thorough process that involved dialogue with students, university employees, community activists, and St. Louis religious and social justice leaders, as well as a full assessment of the financial and operational implications," Chancellor Andrew Martin said in a statement. "I have recommended that we take this step because it is the right thing to do."

Other colleges including Duke University and the University of Virginia have also raised their minimum wage to $15 this year.

Blythe Bernhard is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.