Home Education “Huge victory”: minimum wage workers in USM raise salaries after the protest

“Huge victory”: minimum wage workers in USM raise salaries after the protest

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The president of the University of Southern Mississippi announced an increase in hourly wages on Wednesday, two weeks after the United Campus Workers union held a rally demanding a minimum wage of $ 15 an hour. The last time USM increased the minimum wage was almost ten years ago.

Starting July 9, hourly workers eligible for benefits will see an increase in the minimum wage to $ 11.25 per hour compared to $ 10.10 per hour, President Rodney Bennett wrote in an email to faculty and staff. These workers will also receive an amendment of 3%.

Assistant graduates as well as many faculty and staff will see salary increases, but unattractive positions such as friendly faculty and additional faculty will not be included.

Samuel Ewing, an additional instructor who helped organize the UCW rally, said he was delighted with the promotion, calling it “just the beginning”. He said he hoped the raise would be a “catalyst” for more faculty and staff to participate in UCW, which will continue to pursue $ 15 an hour, and additional staff will receive a raise.

“It’s a huge win for everyone working at this university,” Ewing said. “It shows that the organization is not only our right as working people, but also that it really works.”

In his email to Bennett, retiring next yearthanked faculty and staff, such as Ewing, for attending UCW May 5 protest. He wrote that the university had failed to allocate the institutional funds needed to raise the minimum wage on campus to $ 15 an hour.

“Adjusting this size for all categories of employees will require a multi-year plan,” Bennett wrote. “While I cannot allocate future institutional funds beyond what has been made possible by this year’s additional legislative appropriations, I am pleased that we have been able to make significant progress in raising the minimum hourly rate for eligible employees to $ 11.25 per hour. ”

With limited exceptions, most teachers and employees who receive a salary will receive a 3% salary increase this year, Bennett’s e-mail said. Starting this year, USM will also increase graduate fellowship scholarships by $ 1,500 each fall semester for the next three years, bringing their total salary in the fall of 2024 to $ 11,700.

Margaret Ann McCloud, a spokeswoman for USM, did not answer today’s Mississippi question about how many hourly workers will benefit from the pay rise.

Janice Jones, a security guard who helped organize the UCW rally, said she learned of the raise Wednesday morning after Bennett called her to a meeting. She said Bennett also asked her about problems with custodians with a point-based maintenance department visit system, which Mississippi Today detailed. article last week.

“I wish there was more, but what we got is the beginning,” she said. “They will work with us and we will see it as a victory because we won, but the winnings are not over.”

READ MORE: As one custodian struggles with fear to get a pay raise at the University of Southern Mississippi

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