APRIL 2, 2008

Today, several members of the Student Labor Action Project presented to the Board of Trustees, demanding that UVM adopt a livable wage policy by April 2, 2008.

We have done everything within our power to work with the administration, from the Basic Needs Task Force to being deliberately misled during the hunger strike. Once again we have issued a deadline for President Fogel to live up to his words. We believe this is a reasonable request, and well within the means of the University.

Join SLAP as we put pressure on the administration to make real change at our school and give workers the respect and dignity they deserve!

We meet on tuesday nights at 6:30pm in Lafayette 210. All are welcome!

February 23, 2008


10 Responses to “APRIL 2, 2008”

  1. 1 biggs February 28, 2008 at 1:07 am

    -april 2. 2008

    or else?

  2. 2 (A)ndy February 28, 2008 at 3:44 am

    or else SLAP will get unnice to ya’ll mainstream types and breakout the direct action, duh.

  3. 3 Mike April 4, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    I am not necessarily against a livable wage, but I am curious as to how much of a discrepancy we are talking about. How much funding is necessary to bridge the gap, and what are possible sources of the funding?

  4. 4 (A)ndy April 4, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    The discrepancy in wage is not huge, it does affect workers making their basic needs, but the raise in wages is only about $3 on average. Our approximate on the amount of money required to bring directly and sub-contracted employees up to a livable wage is about 1.5 million, a minescule amount given the annual operating budget of UVM. The funding necessary to do this is around within the UVM budget, and only requires a reprioritization of funds. The possible sources of funding can be found in the Basic Needs and Equitable Compensation Task Force report, available on our website at http://www.uvm.edu/~slap/documents.html , it is the first document on that page.

  5. 5 Mike April 5, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    Thanks, I mostly skimmed the paper, but it was very informative. I am sure that the proposed 1 million is a small fraction of the university budget. I feel though that SLAP will not be taken seriously until the personal attacks on Fogel stop, and the group starts pushing the numbers and showing exactly where in the budget funds can be reallocated. The paper was great though it really opened my mind on the issue

  6. 6 (A)ndy April 6, 2008 at 3:25 am

    I wouldn’t consider our messaging as “personal attacks,” the only thing we have mentioned really that maybe thought to be personal would be his salary. we have never mentioned how, for instance, UVM has a house specifically for the UVM President to live in, but that UVM bought him another house as well.

    The thing to consider in this is that the Board of Trustees, the governing body of the university, has ceded all power and decision-making privileges regarding employment contracts and employment policy in the office of the president, so in essence President Daniel M. Fogel holds the final word when it comes to implementing a livable wage policy at UVM. That’s just sorta how things roll.

    I will concede that focusing the entirety of our public messaging on Prez Fogel would be and is rather foolish as it is not informing for those who may want to know more or come to understand what we are all about. however, as it stands, SLAP has been on this campaign for FOUR years, and Fogel’s opinion has not changed – he is against economic justice for UVM workers. but he is more than happy to point to the thriving community of activists on campus when trying to sell UVM. he also knows the facts, as our message to the administration and to him have not changed. So this noncompliance on the behalf of the employers – administration, we feel needs to highlighted and strongly worded because we have seriously had enough of this bullshit.

    The nitty-gritty of where the money is going to come from is sort of strange to put on a poster or banner. We, the members of SLAP, are mroe than happy to talk about the facts and figures of the where ther additional money should come from, but typically people aren’t so enamored by those details, they just want to know that a living wage won’t raise their tuition.

    Another point i see as important, it that it is not our job as students to figure out where the money is going to be reallocated from, it is the administrators job, we as students pay for them to figure out the complicated process of running the UVM empire. We have told them that the money WILL NOT come out of the employee benefits package, or out of professor’s pockets, or in any way damage the academic environment any further, et cetera. We as students have the job to tell those administrators what we want this school to look like, and then they should make their priority.

  7. 7 Mike April 6, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    Unfortunately making the scene that slap does, they should take some responsibility as to finding where the money will come from. I understand you have been fighting for this four years now, but doesn’t it say something about your campaign that me and many other students still don’t know the facts about livable wages, and only see things such as “tent city” and “Fogels box of empty rhetoric”. Maybe those on the inside of SLAP understand the issue completely, but me and many others still do not know enough about the issue and just associate it with rebellious students going on hunger strikes, marching on Fogel’s office, and basically just causing a scene. I feel that it is an important issue, but if SLAP continues their campaign in this fashion instead of providing concrete numbers and solutions I will not ever get the kind of attention it needs.

    Say what you want about Fogel, but under his term as president he has done a lot of good for the school. We are consistently ranked amongst the top institutions in environmental consciousness, new majors and programs have been introduced (CDAE), and the school itself has become significantly more competitive and popular.

    Using words such as “empire” and claiming he is against “economic justice” seems a little strong and un-warranted. Complaining about his $300,000 income seems like a waste of time. Even if that wage is too much, what are the chances of him taking a pay cut? Also if you look at his responsibilities I think we can agree that a lot of people (probably even some of the parents of those involved in SLAP) make as much if not more money, with significantly less responsibility.

    I’m not trying to stir up trouble or anything and I am not against a livable wage. I am against the way SLAP portrays itself, as it is the face of the Livable Wages issue and reflects on the student body and UVM community as a whole.

  8. 8 (A)ndy April 7, 2008 at 3:09 am

    I think Mike should try being in the shoes of an activist on campus and think about how we cant do everything to make Mike happy, we do our best but this for workers first. If you can do better than go right ahead. We try our best to educate students but most are willfully ignorant and choose to remain apathetic.

    Mike can also notice that whilst we demand certain things from the administration we do acknowledge those triumphs of the Fogel administration, for instance, SLAP never opposed the construction of the Davis Center despite the exorbitant costs. In addition, in none of my comments did i attack his salary as that is a rather low blow and our livable wage campaign is focused on raising wages without that money coming out of anyone’s salary. We do not advocate for a pay cut for anyone, but it is important to draw attention to the growth of the UVM 6 Figure Club.

    I think you need to think about these issues from a different perspective because while you may not disagree with livable wages you are nit-picking at our organization without actually taking in what i am saying.

    The most poignant example of this being BNEC Task Force document i gave you the link for earlier in this conversation. You want numbers? Its chock full of them, facts and figures too. All of which pertain to where the money is coming from.

  9. 9 Mike April 7, 2008 at 5:31 am

    I am just saying that I think SLAP is approaching this from the wrong angle. Instead of putting up tents on campus and signs that attack Fogel, maybe you could take a budget report and show where the money could come from. The only reason I made the salary comment is because in an earlier response you said that the only thing that could be conceived as an attack on Fogel was reference to his salary. I think it is difficult to twist “SLAP never opposed the construction of the Davis Center despite the exorbitant costs” into acknowledging Fogel’s triumphs.

    Why doesn’t SLAP write an article in the Cynic and Burlington Free Press explaining that it would only take about a million dollars and where that money could come from. I do believe it is SLAP’s responsibility to prove that the million dollars would not put a strain on UVM’s budget. SLAP consistently argues that it is a small fraction of the operating budget and would not result in a tuition increase.

    I think between the amount of time I spent sifting through SLAP’s website and conversing here with you that I am fairly more informed than the average UVM student. Yet I still don’t see numbers about where the money would come from. On the webpage it says that the transition could be phased in over years, as was done at many other institutions, but none are listed or used to model UVM’s transition after. I’m sorry you feel as though I am attacking SLAP or you personally, I was just trying to offer up some constructive criticisms. You mention that SLAP’s efforts haven’t produced the desired change after four years … maybe it’s time SLAP takes a new approach?

  10. 10 Deregulation June 18, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Deregulation

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Welcome to the weblog of the Student Labor Action Project, a campaign of Students for Peace & Global Justice, at the University of Vermont! Here you will find up to date goings on of SLAP, your local worker-student solidarity collective!
February 2008
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