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USC Workers to Deliver Living Wage Petition to President Amiridis

Columbia, SC - The United Campus Workers union of South Carolina (UCW-CWA 3765), will hold a rally at the Horseshoe on Thursday, March 28 at 3:30pm. Staff, faculty, and student workers will join together to deliver the Living Wages at USC petition containing over 1000 signatures to President Amiridis. RSVP for the petition delivery here.

In recent years, unionized workers fought for and won $15/hour wages for full time staff at USC, but inflation and rising cost of living has left workers still struggling to make ends meet. Russell Facemire, union member and graduate teaching assistant, said, “I’m still made aware each time I write out a check for my rent, each time I write down every single purchase I make in my ledger book, of just how precarious my situation really is.” 

Workers are organizing to win the demands of their new living wage campaign, which are listed in a petition launched earlier in August. These demands include a minimum wage of $20/hour for all hourly workers, a minimum of $40,000/year for salaried workers, and a minimum annual stipend of $20,000/year for graduate workers. Workers are also calling for increases to reflect the rising cost of living, increases based on years of service, and living wages for contract workers. This petition has received over 1000 signatures of support from USC workers and community members.

USC prides itself on excellence and integrity. However, the state’s flagship institution does not currently pay workers living wages that reflect their contributions and dedication to our community. UCW submitted a FOIA request for IPEDS data in Fall 2023. This data showed that 527 out of 7,182 full-time employees at USC make less than $20 an hour. Notably, this calculation does not include part-time, contract (food service, custodial, grounds and maintenance, etc.), or graduate workers, who collectively make up 5,195 workers and receive some of the lowest wages on campus. 

In 1963, Rev. Dr. MLK Jr. called for a $2 minimum wage. This would be $20 today, adjusted for inflation. We echo this call for economic and racial justice for all in this delivery to President Amiridis. “We’ve come too far to turn back now,” said Ben Brown, a groundskeeper and union member at USC.

The rally will be held on the horseshoe at the President’s Mansion (902 Sumter Street, Columbia, SC 29208. Suggested parking: Bull St. Garage or Pendleton Garage) with a march to the nearby Osborne Administration Building (102 Osborne Admin Building).


A union for all. CWA 3765.