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McKelvey Hall

McKelvey Hall as pictured in this rendering as it would be viewed looking northwest from campus entrance at Skinker Blvd and Brookings Drive. Courtesy of Washington University

The University of Missouri holds a $1 billion endowment. MU Health Care profits were $100 million in 2018. Yet, many Mizzou workers need second jobs to pay bills and use food pantries to feed their families. More than 600 full-time service and maintenance staff at Mizzou earn less than $15 an hour. Employees are seeking a minimum $15-per-hour wage.

The fight for $15 an hour is underway at Washington University as well. Washington University has a $7.7 billion endowment, and raised $1.5 billion in its Leading Together Academic Programs campaign to promote research and innovation to “dramatically improve the quality of life in communities around the globe.” How about improving the quality of life by improving the wages of employees?

Institutions like Washington University and Mizzou are recognized academic leaders but must be leaders in their communities. This includes paying workers a living wage.

The St. Louis Workers’ Rights Board has called on the chancellor and trustees of Washington University to pay all workers at least $15 an hour.

We call on the University of Missouri’s board of curators to implement reforms such as establishing a $15-an-hour minimum wage; bargaining in good faith with unions and graduate workers and maintaining neutrality in future union organizing; and reforming the merit pay system so no worker falls behind in wages due to discrimination or favoritism.

Ruth Ehresman • St. Louis

The Rev. Tommy Pierson • St. Louis

St. Louis Jobs with Justice Workers’ Rights Board