A joint resolution between the Staff and Faculty Senates at the University of Memphis is calling for the minimum pay to be raised to $15/hr.
Thursday morning, the University of Memphis released an email to all employees concerning the resolution.
United Campus Workers, Tennessee’s only higher education union, is applauding the efforts by the UofM to publicly address the crisis of low pay for its employees and calls for swift implementation of this needed change.
“Every time I went to President Rudd about raising pay, I was ignored. I know I’m low on the ladder, but I have a voice too. We see the schools doing it, St. Jude and the county raising their pay. Why not us? I’m glad he is finally listening after so many years,” said Doris Brooks-Conley, 18-year custodian and union member at University of Memphis. Currently 335 staff members at U of M make less than $15/hr. The minimum pay is $10.60/hour or $20,670/year.
“Many people have been involved over 7 years to get to this point. We are thankful to the Faculty and Staff Senates, especially Staff Senate President Meghan Cullen. We now ask that President Rudd commit to this raise immediately and not incrementally over a few years,” said Margaret Cook, current Vice President of the Memphis Chapter of UCW and U of M employee.
Since 2012, United Campus Workers has been advocating for a living wage that would ensure that full-time employees could make ends meet. In 2014, workers were victorious when the university raised its base pay to $10.10/hr.
April 2015, UCW partnered with the national Fight for $15 Campaign to hold a city-wide rally on the steps of the university’s administration building calling for $15/hr. In December of 2016, a delegation of employees delivered over one-hundred employee-signed holiday cards asking President Rudd for a living wage for campus workers. Finally, last year, UCW members started fostering conversations with other employees to formalize on-campus resolutions in support of a living wage, which directly led to this passing of the joint resolution by the Faculty and Staff Senate.