We need you to sign this petition because even though Vanderbilt University is one of the wealthiest universities in the country, many Vanderbilt employees live in poverty.
In 2010, twenty Vanderbilt executives made a combined $24,288,374. Vanderbilt has an annual budget of $3.5B and an endowment worth $3.4B. Vanderbilt is currently rebuilding a dormitory for $115M, expanding an athletic facility for $31M, and Rand Dining Hall was renovated this year for $3.75M.
The vast majority of Vanderbilt Campus Dining workers earn far below the Federal Poverty Line of $23,050 for a family of four. A typical Vanderbilt dining worker will earn only $16,500 this year. Dining workers are laid off during the summer and winter break periods. Even so called full-time Vanderbilt dining workers are treated like seasonal workers, and not able to work year round. An exemption in Tennessee state law allows schools and universities to avoid paying unemployment benefits to laid off employees.
Vanderbilt University has made nothing more than a marginal attempt to assist in job placement for dining employees during the summer. It is our belief that all Vanderbilt Campus Dining employees should either be guaranteed employment during the summer or be allowed to collect unemployment benefits.
We petition Vanderbilt University to do the following:
1) Acknowledge poverty at Vanderbilt and prove the income statistics that they have published.
2) Hold summer job fairs and provide culinary skills training and job search assistance.
3) Build summer job placement pipelines with community partners.
4) Prioritize hiring dining workers within the Vanderbilt University system including the medical center complex and Vanderbilt Temporary Services during the summer.
5) Stop contesting laid-off dining workers’ summer unemployment benefit claims.
We encourage Vanderbilt to recognize their obligation to the men and women who feed the Vanderbilt community. Everyone in the Vanderbilt community deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. Vanderbilt must be better than poverty wages and unpaid summer layoffs to dining workers.
It's time, Vanderbilt.