- 1. How much have you all determined to be a living wage here in Nashville? Does that include benefits?
-The living wage for a family varies according to the composition and special needs of the family. A single mother with two kids in preschool has greater need than a single woman or man with no children. By the estimation of the Self-Sufficiency Standard for Tennessee, a single adult needs $15,900 per year, and the a household with two adults and two young children needs $37,700 per year. A household with two children and a single parent needs $31,600. These numbers include the cost of complete benefits, but do not include luxuries such as eating out, saving, etc. The living wage standard used by any specific company tends to be an average of these figures (each worker is paid the same living wage; it's not figured individually based on family situation).
- 2. How much does the average service worker make here at Vandy?
This kind of information is being carefully withheld from the public by the administration. By our crude estimates, $6.50ph seems likely for low bracket jobs. At this level, a single parent of two would have to work 90+ hours per week every week of the year to meet the needs of the family.
- 3. How many workers are affected by pay that is lower than a living wage on campus?
This information is also carefully withheld by the administration from the public, including professors and students. Our best estimate is more than 700 people are paid less than a living wage.
- 4. What have you done to solve this problem?
Living Income for Vanderbilt Employees has had a few successful campaigns. We have lobbied the administration to provide Short Term Disability insurance to employees, and they recently initiated a new coverage plan for short term disability. It was not exactly what we were asking for, but it is better than nothing!
- 5. What elso are you working on to address this problem?
To begin meeting more of the needs of the workers, the administration should revise the sick/holiday time off policy. We ask that a more generous and flexible plan replace the rigidly interpreted plan currently in use. The administration has stated that such a plan would be "too expensive" but our research indicates that the policy would be economical and easy to implement. This kind of policy has been implemented at other major employers with only minimal costs to the company.
- 7. Will the resolution reduce the number of jobs available on campus?
This should have no impact on the need for workers on campus. Job retension should increase, saving money on training and other expenses linked to high turnover rates.
- 8. Can you recommend anything that students can do to support the campaign?
Get on an email action listserve, hang fliers, sign the petition to the admins for information about employment on campus. Come to meetings of LIVE. Join a specialty committee.