by Samuel Maron and Ryan Bess Winnick

Hesitant to admit success, but determined to embrace the eminent possibilities of the Basic Needs Task Force proposals, members of the Student Labor Action Project (SLAP) at UVM are both earnest and prepared. Ready for the challenge of administrative and truly bureaucratic hesitation, SLAP members have pressingly decided to march onward in demand of livable wages on campus for all UVM workers, both directly employed and contracted.

The continued campaign has three goals:

  1. All UVM employees must earn at least a livable wage as defined by the Basic Needs Task Force and the VT Joint Fiscal Office as approximately $12.23 and hour.
  2. President Fogel must accept and endorse the Task Force recommendation by November 3rd, 2006, make a real implementation schedule, and begin to make steps for implementation.
  3. There must be public acknowledgement of the endorsement, and complete transparency of the implementation process by the administration.
    The recommendation from the Task Force only applies to direct UVM employees and denies contracted workers. This is a huge step and victory in the campaign, but it is only partial, and does not go far enough. Besides the injustice of denying a livable wage to some of the lowest paid workers on campus, contracted employees give UVM an incentive to outsource, a tactic that is bad for the workers, the community, and workers’ rights in general.

Every tactic to win justice at UVM is on the table. The attempted office takeover, and resulting tent-city had the administration shaking in its boots and directly resulted in the creation of the task force.

We must continue to work together and make sure everyone in Burlington knows about livable wages and why they are so necessary! This injustice cannot continue, and SLAP won’t stop working until every worker on the UVM campus is paid a livable wage. If the administration accepts the recommendation, the process will be a lot easier for everyone and we will stop denying our workers what they deserve. UVM will pay a livable wage. They have stalled for long enough, it’s time for action! Solidarity!

To read the preliminary report and send a comment to the Task Force: