UF raises minimum pay, but NOT because of protests
Well, isn't that special. UF president Charles Young has been concerned all this time with the low wages of UF employees and now, spontaneously, UF administrators have studied the problem and come to the conclusion they need to raise their lowest-paid workers (see memo below).
UF wants us to know that this is NOT because UF's lowest-paid employees, the UF staff union, and many community and student organizations including the NAACP, other unions, Student Peace Action and the Labor Party rallied and campaigned for the last 4 months for the rights of custodial workers to not be forced onto midnight shift, calling attention again and again to their ludicrously low pay.
It's NOT that the University is reeling from charges of systematic racism were levelled at the law school by many, including professor and former dean Ken Nunn who resigned his deanship in protest.
It's NOT because protesters packed the meetings of UF's night shift committee with a petition that ringed the wall and four demands: End Night Shift; Living Wage for Custodial Workers; Fair Building Assignments; and An End to Harassment by Supervisors.
And it's NOT that UF administrators are getting a tinch nervous about the strong solidarity shown between UF's staff union (AFSCME 3340), the Graduate Assistants United, the faculty union, student groups and community groups, most powerfully the NAACP.
UF is notorious for its "spontaneous" interest in justice immediately following a big protest compaign. They follow the cardinal rule of the power structure: "Don't let people know their actions count--if you do, they'll be encouraged to take more action, and we can't have that."
The pay increase follows on the heels of a victory for UF's custodial staff over the night shift. UF backed down from the night shift after its committee voted overwhelmingly to abolish it.
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