Workers at the University of Memphis need your help in calling on President Shirley Raines to establish a living wage of at least $11.62 an hour for all University employees. This figure is the living wage for a family with two children where both parents work full-time, according to the new 2010 edition of economist Dr. David Ciscel's “What is a Living Wage for Memphis?”
Many University of Memphis service workers only just above minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 an hour. This wage keeps many workers from being able to take care of their families' most basic needs.
As University of Memphis custodian Thelma Jean Rimmer says, "Sure, it’s good to have a job, but you need a paying job!”
Employers like the University of Memphis can and should pay their workers a living wage – enough to meet their families’ basic needs. That’s why University workers, students, and community supporters are campaigning for a living wage for all University of Memphis workers.
If you are a University of Memphis Alumni, please edit your letter to add this information and have a greater impact.
I encourage you to create a concrete plan and timeline to implement a living wage for all workers at the University of Memphis.
Secondly, I urge you to implement a $1 an hour pay raise for workers in the 2012-2013 budget year. Finally, I encourage you to follow the precedent set by the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and create an $8.50 wage floor for all positions at the University.
I look forward to hearing from you about how the University plans to address the need for a living wage for all employees.