SGA passes resolution in favor of $15 wage for University employees

By Colton Williams
Editor-In-Chief

In an email sent to the student body, the Student Government Association announced that they had voted on and passed a resolution that calls for raising the pay for all University employees to $15 an hour.

The resolution was presented to the SGA last week by Max Saltman (C’21), who also serves as the opinions editor of the Purple, and grew out of his reporting in “Sewanee’s ‘living wage’ isn’t enough.” 

The resolution reads in full:

“Resolution in Favor of Higher Wages for University Workers – Amended

Whereas,     
At the University of the South, the current starting wage for workers hired at the NE3 career band, which includes childcare workers, custodial staff, dining staff, and facilities and maintenance workers, is $9.75 per hour, and; 

Whereas,     
University workers have struggled to pay bills, feed themselves, and purchase adequate housing on their wages, and; 

Whereas,     
The University’s starting wage for workers at the NE3 career band rose only sixty cents from $9.15 hourly since 2012, and;

Whereas,     
The US dollar has inflated faster than University wages rose in that time, making the starting wage eight years ago higher in purchasing power than the current one, and;

Whereas,     
The University committed to paying a living wage in their strategic initiatives of 2012 and 2018, and;

Whereas,     
The COVID-19 pandemic poses an immediate threat to these aforementioned University workers; be it further

Resolved,    
That the Board of Regents ought to expand the payroll budget to allow for wage increases among workers making less than $15 dollars hourly; be it further 

Resolved,    
That the University ought to pay all of its employees at least $15 dollars per hour.”

Ivana Porashka (C’21), president of the SGA, said that “Max Saltman’s proposed resolution will hopefully set a precedent for students to follow in the future, one of advocacy for the greater health and quality of life for the entire community on the Domain.”

“My hope is that this way,” Saltman said, “we can get a response or commitment to this issue in writing from the University, as opposed to just writing about it and waiting for a response.” 

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