The history of the Northwestern Living Wage campaign
Created by kyliemg on Mar 2, 2011
Last updated: 03/06/11 at 09:41 PM
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The campaign plans to host author Barbara Ehrenreich to lead off a two-day conference discussing the validity and viability of implementing a living wage at NU.
The Living Wage campaign teamed up with The Unite Here 1 union to spend the day canvasing for alderman of the 50th ward. They attended a dinner afterwards to celebrate the efforts to elect Debrah Silverstein, who will face Bernard Stone, the second longest-serving alderman in a run-off on April 5th.
The NU Living Wage Campaign Activist Performance Project (APP) provides a chance to understand the relationships between NU workers, students, the administration, labor unions, etc. in order to bring attention to the issues of the Living Wage Campaign. Over 200 students and workers came to watch the interactive theatre project
Cleve Jones, a community organizer dedicated to LGBT rights and depicted in the movie "Milk", spoke to students in an event held by Northwestern Community Development Corps and Peace Project supporting the Northwestern Living Wage Campaign. Jones expressed his strong approval of the Living Wage campaign and reprimanded the administration of Northwestern for their response.
"After careful consideration, we have concluded that we cannot support the campaign, and we urge the administration not to do so either," wrote The Daily Northwestern Editorial Board. This criticism sparked strong reactions from the members of the campaign, students, and workers.
Adam Yalowitz, co-director of the campaign and other members stood outside McCormick Auditorium waiting to deliver the signatures of more than 1,450 students and 90 faculty to board members for the University Board of Trustees. Before they could do so, University Police officers told the students they would not be allowed to speak with the Board after the meeting.
Kellyn Lewis, co-director of the Living Wage Campaign, and other members of sent a letter to Vice President of Business and Finance Eugene Sunshine and President Morton Schapiro after learning employees of a janitorial service company contracted by Northwestern, were receiving paychecks that were missing hours, or did not compensate them for overtime. The campaign helped about 22 employees fill out Wage Complaint Forms through the Illinois Department of Labor allowing them to claim missing wages.
The Campaign attends a meeting to present information about the Living Wage to faculty as well as President Shapiro
Members of the campaign paint the rock to draw attention to the Living Wage cause and urger interested students to join.
The University administrators agreed to provide subcontracted workers with several "community benefits" including access to the library and shuttles, discounted parking at Ryan field, store discounts, and free informal banking classes.
More than 300 students, faculty and community members protested to implement increased wages for Northwestern workers
Campaign supporters send Shapiro Valentine's Day cards urging him to support the campaign's fight for a living wage.
Leaders of the Living Wage Campaign begin holding regular meetings with Vice President of Finance, Eugene Sunshine as well as President Morton Schapiro to see what could be done to increase workers' salaries to a 'living wage.' Both seemed overwhelmingly supportive, but backed down soon after, leading the students to take other measures.
Campaign organizers gather over 500 signatures for a petition urging a Living Wage Campaign on campus.
The Living Wage campaign meets with Unite Here, Service Workers United, and SEIU.
Several Northwestern University students are surprised to learn that many of the University's workers are living paycheck-to-paycheck, or were forced out of their apartments due to the inability to pay their rent. These students band together and form the start of the Living Wage Campaign to help increase contracted workers' salaries.