On May 21st, the Tennessee legislature passed the budget to include a 1.6% pay raise for public higher education workers. After four years with no raises, any raise is welcome news. But for most workers, including thousands who don't make a living wage, 1.6% is not even enough to keep up with the increased price of their monthly health insurance premiums.
Both University of Tennessee President DiPietro and the Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor Morgan have said they want to do more to increase the pool of raises for workers. Now we need to make sure they follow through with that pledge!
The fairest and most equitable way to distribute this raise money is a flat dollar across the board raise that would be the same amount for all workers. This would address the growing gap between the highest paid administrators and the vast majority of workers. In the past, the University of Tennessee has used this practice, but we need to make sure they keep it up, and that other state Universities join them. An equal dollar raise will being low-wage workers closer to a living wage.
Sign this petition to send a message to UT President Joe DePietro or Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan to tell them why we need them to do more by putting those additional funds toward a fair cost of living increase.
Any additional funds distributed as an equal dollar increase to all employees would be a great morale boost and show that UT and TBR employees' hard work and years of sacrifice are appreciated. We need your leadership to achieve fair compensation for higher education employees.
With the recent revamping of the state insurance, the cost on average has increased by $50 per month. The 1.6% raise does not even cover half of that increase for many loyal, long-time employees, and it puts low wage workers even deeper in a hole.
We hope you will support your workers as they try to meet their most basic needs.