UTC United Campus Workers Demand Fifteen Dollar Minimum Wage

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — This morning, the United Campus Workers Union and its allies presented UTC Chancellor Steve Angle with a 500 signature petition for a $15 dollar minimum wage.”

“We do not think that fifteen dollars and hour is a crazy ask, at all, especially since that’s what UTK offers — I believe the University of Memphis offers that — and city workers at the City of Chattanooga get that as well. So, we want to make sure that we are also competitive,” said Gerda Zinner, an Advisor at the UTC College of Arts and Sciences.

The petition also asks the university to develop a plan for addressing wage compression.

“What happens is if you suddenly raise the lowest wages, then people who have less experience are going to be paid the same as people who have more experience. So, we ask that the University implement a plan to address those new inequities that would result if we were to increase the lowest paid and the most underpaid workers,” said Jaclyn Michael, an Instructor at UTC.

This petition comes as Chancellor Angle puts forth the FY 22-23 budget, which features a three percent pay increase, across the board.

“This proposal for the next year’s budget, where there’s going to be a three percent raise across the university — we ask that that go for the underpaid workers and the lowest paid workers, not the people at the top,” said Michael.

According to the MIT living wage calculator, a single worker needs twenty nine thousand sixty five dollars to support themselves in Hamilton County.

The United Campus Workers Union says 80 of UTC’s employees do not meet this threshold.

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