Covid-19 issued an era of painful cuts for most universities and universities. The dismissals, permits and lost elevations have become common for staff members and faculty in many institutions.

But last month, Memphis University announced that it would be raising to his staff salary in June, which led to the university the lowest. A contenuses up to $ 15 per hour.

"We are very excited. It is not something we expected to happen in the current climate, especially because of Covid," said Meghan Cullen, an administrative coordinator of Memphis and vice president of the United Campus Workers' chapter of the University, a union for students of teachers, staff and graduates. "It's definitely the past because the poor workers receive a dignified salary."

The movement of administration follows a year-old campaign per hour from the UCW chapter. M. David Rudd, president of the university, said the administration had been working on raising the salary floor since he arrived and recently felt that things were finally in a place where the change could be made.

"is" not only what needs to be done for the right reasons, but also about our ability to be competitive to employ people, "he said." The real challenge for us was sustainability and not Having to do it by increasing tuition costs to students. We have not had an increase in enrollment here for four of the last seven years. We just did not want to change the change on the back of the students. "

Memphis has been able to keep the inscription through the pandemic, Rudd said, and managed to make cuts through natural wear and consolidation, without Any permission or dismissals outside the Athletics Department.

Despite the remaining Tennessee minimum wage for $ 7.25 per hour, the university increased the salary floor four times since 2014, not counting this Most recent increase. The minimum of the university is currently $ 12 per hour.

For the Union, the minimum university salary was not just an economic problem, Cullen said, but a racial justice and an equity of Genre. The most recent salary study of the chapter, as of 2019, estimated that around 335 people at the university obtained more than $ 15 per hour. Of those, 63 percent were women and 78 percent were black. contrast, the main issues of The university was a white and male majority. (Rudd said that currently, due to recent salaries increases, only about 100 people are now doing less than $ 15 per hour).

such a situation: Color people in the lower and white part at the top - it is not infrequent in public universities. In the south, it is likely that the low salary workforce is especially black.

"We are paying certain people at the top 10 times the amount we are paying to the people at the bottom," Cullen said. "That income inequality is not something that is sustainable."

Memphis, Tenn., It is among the poorest Metropolitan areas of America. Margaret Cook, former Vice President of the UCW Chapter and the current Vice President of Public Workers, Health and Education with the Workers of the Communication from America (the Union Parents of the UCW), said the university, a major employer of the city You can have a hand in fixing that.

"No one should have to work for the state and get food coupons. That simply does not make any sense," she said. "We had many women who worked two jobs to get to the end of the month."

Thelma Jean Rimmer, a former custodian at the university who helped find and organize the UCW chapter, said she also expects staff to spend more time with their families due to the increase. She withdrew after 14 years with college earning $ 12 per hour, the minimum. There were some things that she and her family just could not afford to do, she said.

"I did not want other people to have to say that to your child.


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