The University of California system will raise its minimum wage for direct and contract employees to $15 an hour over the next three years, it announced on Wednesday. The plan, unveiled at a meeting of the Board of Regents, will place the system’s minimum wage well above the state’s minimum wage, which is $9 an hour.

“Through its education, research, and public-service missions, the University of California’s students, faculty, and staff have made us into a world-renowned institution,” said the system’s president, Janet A. Napolitano, in a news release. “And our community does not exist in a vacuum. How we support our workers and their families impacts Californians who might never set foot on one of our campuses.”

The wage applies to employees hired to work at least 20 hours a week. The minimum wage will increase to $13 an hour in October, and will go up $1 each in 2016 and 2017.

The system has roughly 195,000 employees, making it California’s third-largest employer.