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STATEMENT: Union secures raise to $14 for full-time staff, continues to organize for living wages for all

In 2021, United Campus Workers of South Carolina launched a campaign to raise the minimum wage across the University of South Carolina system to $15 an hour. The University Administration just approved and announced a plan following last week's Board of Trustees meeting to raise the minimum wage to $14 an hour and address compensation and reclassification for hundreds more employees.

We welcome this announcement from new incoming University President Amiridis, for the decision to listen to the concerns of the staff, faculty, and students about the need to address poverty wages being paid to campus employees and pay compression for those who have dedicated their lives to the University.

“In addition to raising the minimum wage, there ought to be some compensation for the part-time workers, student workers, contracted workers, and to those that have been here for years,” said Benjamin Brown, Groundskeeper at the University with more than 25 years of service, “We still need your support.

While the raise in the minimum wage is a great start, there is more to be done. The cost of living continues to rise and many university employees will continue to struggle as they have been so far behind for so many years, without a history of consistent yearly cost-of-living raises, and the chronic underfunding of the University. Meanwhile, the effects of the implementation of the compensation and reclassification plan are yet to be seen.

“The union gives workers on campus hope. We are the voices,” said Bobbie Keitt, Parking Services employee who has dedicated her life to working at the University. “We are and will be persistent until we see the manifestation of our work as a unit, moving in the same direction, speaking the same thing at the same time.”

UCW SC will continue to advocate for living wages, dignity and the rights of all workers across the UofSC system. We are looking forward to working with the new University President, Amiridis to ensure that the voices of the employees are heard and that UofSC can be a great place to work for everyone.