Set a Campus-wide $15 an Hour Minimum Wage at Temple
This petition had 490 supporters
Temple University is the largest public employer in the city of Philadelphia, in the poorest major city in the nation. Despite being one of the wealthiest institutions in the city, with a Board of Directors representing Philadelphia's most prosperous corporations, Temple pays essential student and campus workers poverty wages. Unlike other major cities, Philadelphia lawmakers have taken NO ACTION to raise the minimum wage. Temple University and President Neil Theobald have a unique opportunity to raise the standard for employers in Philadelphia by raising the campus-wide minimum wage form $7.25 to $15 an hour.
At Temple, 1,100 cafeteria and security workers are paid below $15 an hour, and adjunct professors earn meager wages per course, at much less than $15 an hour. Additionally, thousands of student workers are paid at or slightly above the minimum wage of $7.25, with almost none making more than $10 an hour. Temple occupies one of the poorest zip codes in the nation, and student workers are graduating each year with tens of thousands of dollars of debt.
There is no justification for a large, wealthy institution in the heart of deep, urban poverty enacting policies that deepen, rather than diminish, the divide between rich and poor. President Theobald and Temple University have the opportunity and moral responsibility to be leaders and set a standard for large employers in Philadelphia and across the country by setting a $15 minimum wage.
By paying a living wage to all its workers, including those who are students, adjunct professors, and community members, Temple University could once again play a positive role in the community that it was created to serve. Increased wages can stimulate the local economy of North Philadelphia and bring more money into the community which Temple has at best neglected and at worse deliberately undermined.
Temple claims that paying higher wages would mean an increase in tuition and that on-campus living wages are not fiscally responsible. Last week Theobald and the Board of Trustees announced plans to build a $100 million stadium on campus. Temple doesn't have a financial crisis, but a crisis of priorities.
Students want to know, is President Theobald’s six-figure salary, personal driver, and paid-for penthouse in Rittenhouse Square fiscally responsible? Is the 35 million dollars Temple spends on advertising and building gaudy and overpriced dorms like Morgan Hall, while eliminating North Philly’s affordable housing like Norris Homes, fiscally responsible? Are the exorbitant salaries of coaches and millions poured into the football and basketball programs fiscally responsible?
We demand Temple and President Theobald:
- Raise the wage of all Temple employees, contractors and subcontractors to at least $15 an hour.
- Respect the rights of all workers to organize and the right to unionize.
- Require businesses operating on Temple’s Campus to pay all employees at least $15 an hour and allow workers to unionize.
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