Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Here’s why these workers are unionizing at William & Mary

The James Monroe statue on William & Mary's campus. (WYDaily/ Andrew Harris)
The James Monroe statue on William & Mary’s campus. (WYDaily/ Andrew Harris)

Members of the William & Mary Workers’ Union are launching their campaign to demand better treatment, pay, and benefits for employees at the historic college Monday.

Jasper Conner, a spokesman for the union, said in a news release they’re planning to rally publicly and are presenting demands to the Dean of Graduate Studies for graduate workers to have their health, vision, and dental insurance paid as part of their yearly compensation and benefits that parody those of workers in PhD programs.

“The William & Mary Workers’ Union is also fighting for a living wage for all employees of the university, which would raise the annual pay of many workers by $4,000,” he said.

Health care costs for graduate workers increased by 11 percent and after Anthropology Department workers were paid five weeks late this summer, the group said “this treatment is unacceptable!”

The William & Mary Workers’ Union is a chapter of the Virginia Public Service Workers Union, United Electric Workers local 160 and is open to all campus workers.

“[The union] believes that improving conditions for workers at William & Mary will improve the overall mission of the university,” Conner said.

Members are expected to make their campaign public when they rally in front of the Saddler Center Monday and again at the Sunken Garden on Friday at noon.

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