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Vanderbilt Campaign Update!
Oct 19, 2005 - posted by Marion Coddou, marion.l.coddou(at)vanderbilt.edu
its formation in 2002, Living
Income for Vanderbilt Employees (LIVE) has been
dedicated to research, education, outreach, and action
in order to attain a living wage policy for all of Vanderbilt’s
full time workers. November 2004 saw the mid-contract
negotiations between LIUNA, the union representing about
600 of Vanderbilt’s employees, and the Vanderbilt
administration. Through meetings with the two sides
and well attended rallies, LIVE promoted an agreement
to raise the base wage. In one rally, over two hundred
protestors, including students, workers, faculty, local
union officials, and community members, gathered around
the Kirkland Hall offices of Chancellor Gordon Gee demanding
compliance with the union’s requests. This wave
of negotiations and action culminated in the first base
wage increase in three years from $6.50 an hour to $7.55.
Since then, LIVE has continued to strengthen its relationship
with the workers, keep contact with the union, and build
a coalition of faculty, student organizations, and members
of the Nashville community. The LWAC workshops and Georgetown’s
documentary energized the campaign with new ideas and
a renewed enthusiasm to pursue a number of possibilities.
Current projects in the works include weekly worker
appreciation events, coalition building, a journey to
the USAS conference in Knoxville, weekly street theatre
scenes, and an art show fundraiser in the spring featuring
the art of workers, workers’ families, community
members, and students on the subject of labor justice
End of contract negotiations begin in November 2006.
By then, the administration will have heard in force,
from the mouths of the workers, students, faculty, and
staff that Vanderbilt wants a living wage now!