Category Archives: Highlighted

No Sodexo at the University of Virginia!

Thank you for your support in our fight to keep Sodexo off the University of Virginia’s campus!

This morning, in a meeting with members of the Living Wage Campaign, Executive Vice President and COO Patrick Hogan verbally confirmed that Sodexo will NOT be the next dining service provider at the University!

We celebrate the fact that the workers on the UVa campus will not be subjected to Sodexo’s unjust labor practices.

Hogan also noted that UVa considers three primary criteria when selecting contractors: cost, student services and satisfaction, and maintaining the conditions of facilities. When asked what role worker conditions play in these decisions, he responded that the wage and labor policies of a contractor are not the business of the University.

We insist that the well-being of those who make this campus run every day IS the business of the University and that their compensation and treatment should be made a priority.

Hogan suggested a follow-up meeting be scheduled after the new dining service contract is announced, which he says will occur in the next 30 days. In this meeting, we intend to continue to advocate for the fair compensation of our workers regardless of which corporation is contracted.

We will continue to update you on this issue and invite you to join us after the new dining service contract is signed to tell Hogan and the rest of the administrators at the University of Virginia that workers, including contracted workers, are ‘Hoos, too.

WAHOOWA!

In solidarity,
Workers and Students United for a Living Wage at the University of Virginia

LWC Responds to University’s Decision to Raise Base Wages for Direct Employees

Today, the finance committee of the Board of Virginia adopted its new budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The base wage for the University’s lowest-paid direct employees was raised slightly, from $10.65 an hour to $11.30 an hour.

While the Living Wage Campaign commends this small step in the right direction, we maintain that the University needs to make a firm commitment to pay all of its employees a living wage indexed to inflation. The University administration and the Board of Visitors have yet to meaningfully address the issue of contract labor at the University.  Contract employees often do the same type of labor as direct employees – performing core functions such as house-cleaning and food service, without which the University cannot function – but these contract employees can be paid as little as the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The University has thus far chosen not to exercise its right to audit the companies to whom they contract out their labor, thus rendering contract workers officially invisible to the administration. These contract workers perform jobs that are vital to the University’s operations, but the University refuses to recognize them as members of the much-touted “caring community,” or to grant them equal pay for equal work.

In part, the University’s official statement on its new budget reads as follows: “The University of Virginia recognizes that people are its biggest investment, responsible for delivering excellence in teaching, research and patient care.” Teaching, research, and patient care are indeed important functions of the University; however, they would not be possible without the essential labor provided by the University’s lowest-paid employees, including contract employees. The Living Wage Campaign calls on the University of Virginia to recognize that all of the people employed by the University, including contract workers, are worthy of investment. We realize that the University’s budget is constrained by a number of factors; however, the fact remains that budgets are documents which reflect moral priorities. The Living Wage Campaign will continue to pressure the University and the Board of Visitors until the University’s lowest-paid employees, both direct and contract, are made a priority.

Read the University’s entire statement on the new budget here.