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University of Wisconsin - Madison

Madison, WI

Group name: Student Labor Action Coalition Website:
Contact: Email:

Campaign background: Students at UW-Madison are demanding that the University put an end to its abuse of the limited term employee (LTE) system. LTEs do the same work as permanent workers, but with lower pay, and no benefits, job security or union representation. Hundreds of LTEs on Madison's campus have been working in the same "temporary" job for up to 20 years, with no chance for advancement. More and more permanent jobs on campus are not being filled with permanent workers, but instead with "temporary" LTEs.

On April 4, 2006, Students at UW-Madison overwhelmingly voted to guarantee a living wage for campus and student workers paid for by student fees, which will primarily affect the extremely underpaid and under-respected LTEs. After a huge signature drive over the past year and a voter mobilization effort this past month led by the Student Labor Action Coalition (SLAC) and allied student groups and unions, the Living Wage referendum passed by a vote of 62% - 5,312 to 3,204.

BUT...the fight is not over! The UW administration has previously said that they will refuse to honor the students' vote despite the fact that Wisconsin law (statute 36.09.5) guarantees students shared governance control and autonomy over their student fees. Students in SLAC will be working to ensure that the administration does not impede the progress of this referendum and will also be continuing to demand that all workers at Madison receive a living wage.

Campaigns News & Updates:

Apr 5, 2006 - Living Wage plan passes - "Students overwhelmingly approved a Living Wage Referendum in Tuesday’s Associated Students of Madison elections..." [read more]
-The Daily Cardinal

March 28, 2006 - Voters to determine pay - "Primarily, SLAC representatives said the referendum aims to raise the wages of University of Wisconsin employees earning less than a "living wage"..." [read more] - The Badger Herald

March 20, 2006 - Support referendum to ensure workers earn living wage - The Badger Herald

Feb 16, 2006 - Students, faculty converge to review limited-term employment - The Daily Cardinal

Oct 3, 2005 - LWAC visits University of Wisconsin-Madison - LWAC tour update


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