Miami University

Weekly Meetings: Friday 5pm, Harrison 109

(click here for Quicktime videos)

We met with President Hodge last December. What did he say? 1) He doesn't support a Living Wage Committee because that "would give the campus Living Wage movement a momentum that he doesn't want it to have." 2) He doesn't want to collect poverty data on Miami workers out of fear that if Miami did collect this info, workers wouldn't report additional incomes.

We eventually got this info from Carol Hauser, head of Human Resources, and her research indicates that 32 of Miami's full-time staff are making wages that fall well below the federally-defined poverty line, while 112 staff members are eligible for food stamps. Furthermore, as research and opinion from Butler County social workers indicates, the federally defined poverty lines are grossly inappropriate for predicting poverty in Butler Co. because the cost of living is much higher than national averages. The more accurate estimate of poverty in Butler Co. would be 200% (twice) the federally defined wage. We are waiting on data for salaries below 200 percent of the poverty line. In a recent meeting with President Hodge, he refused to consider this data or any further research as significant.

We've co-authored a petition with clerical staff calling for the democratization of the Classified Personnel Advisory Committee (CPAC). We tried to get an ASG bill passed about this, but they tabled it because they were scared to hurt their image by taking action.

Lately we've been talking to workers and helping build the local union, AFSCME Local 209.

1st CPAC Meeting
In March 2006, representatives of Students For Staff made a presentation to the Classified Personnel Advisory Committee – "established for the purpose of advising the president, vice presidents, and Human Resources on matters of interest and concern to classified staff members in the context of the whole university community" – and at this meeting two requests were made of our Administration: 1) the electronic links to video-taped staff testimonials (below) be distributed in an email to all Miami staff, faculty, students, administrators and alumni, and 2) an official and public response to last December's editorial in the Miami Student, in which our Administration was publicly called upon to "both explain its position concerning the lowest paid workers and finally begin to work toward a wage system that demonstrates this respect." The deadline for these requests was given as March 16, 2006. TO DATE WE HAVE RECEIVED NO RESPONSE. See a pdf of our presenation handout here.

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get the scoop from the Miami Student:
MU Student Top Story
(pdf – 12.2.05)
MU Student Front Page
(pdf – 12.2.05)
MU Student Editorial
(pdf – 12.5.05)
Sara Weisbrodt's Letter to the Editor
(pdf – 12.6.05)
Carol Hauser's Letter to the Editor
(pdf – 12.6.05)

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We are undergrads, graduate students and alumni who believe in living the VALUES of liberal education and critical thinking by putting research and KNOWLEDGE into ACTION. As our administration acknowledged two years ago in an open letter to the Miami's faculty (see links to pdfs below) many University employees are struggling to make ends meet because they do not earn a sufficient income. We value the work that they do and believe that valuable work demands valuable compensation. We believe that all members of the MIAMI COMMUNITY have the right to live and WORK with DIGNITY . We believe that the University has a MORAL obligation to pay its employees just wages. We invite our administration to work towards implementing a blanket LIVING WAGE policy as a CONSTRUCTIVE SOLUTION to economic disparities on our campus.

A living wage is the hourly income required for a person working a 40-hour week to afford a BASIC STANDARD of living — including housing, food, utilities, transportation and health care. Both HARVARD and YALE, our nation’s leading institutions, have implemented living wage policies.

Entry-level Miami employees receive $8.80/hr before taxes, campus meals & healthcare. (1) That comes to a gross annual income of $17,600. The 2005 national poverty line is $19,350 for a family of four and $16,090 for a family of three. (2) Click here for a wage comparison between Miami and BGSU.

SFS is a network of undegrads, graduate students and alumni from across the political and ideological map. There’s lots YOU can do! For starters, send us an email and let us know who you are. For more immediate action, print out one of these flyers (info) and put them up on your dorm or office door, your classrooms, or spread them into the community of folks you encounter daily: staff, student, faculty, administration. And if you haven’t already, get to know the person who cleans your bathroom, the person who serves you lunch, mows the lawn, etc . . .

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Presentation to the Classified Personnel Advisory Committee (pdf – 3.2.06)
Living Wage Action Coalition meets w/ SFS (html – 2.27.06)
Union Newsletter *Special Student Edition* (pdf – 2.12.06)
Benjamin Alexander's Article in The Miami Voice
(pdf – 2.1.06)
Justin Katko's Address at the Academic Recognition Banquet
(pdf – 1.26.06)
Stephanie Lee's Response to Gabriel
(pdf – 11.15.05)
B.R. Gabriel's Response to Brown (pdf – 11.11.05)
Emily Brown's OpEd - Empowered Perspective (pdf – 11.8.05)
SFS Open Letter to Administration
(pdf – 10.31.05)
Philosophy Dept's Response to Open Letter (pdf – 10.14.03)
Administration's Open Letter to Faculty (pdf – 10.7.03)
Fact-Finder Report (pdf – 8.15.03)
MU Job Satisfaction Survey (ppt – 4.3.03)
Dr. Bill Even's Living Wage Presentation to the MU Board of Trustees (ppt – 1998)
Mercer Report (pdf – 2.23.96)

site updated: 3.2.07