Members Reject Grinnell's Final Offer — Again

Press Release

Union Demands Cost-of-Tuition Adjustment, College Refuses

GRINNELL, IOWA — Members of the Union of Grinnell Student Dining Workers (UGSDW) today rejected Grinnell’s most recent contract offer for the 2017–2018 year. Since April, the union had fought for for a cost-of-tuition adjustment to bring wages to $9.60 an hour. The college’s final offer was a wage of $9.40 per hour.

“Every year, tuition goes up and wages fail to keep pace,” said UGSDW president Cory McCartan. “Student workers, who are disproportionately lower-income, are forced to work harder and longer just to tread water. Meanwhile, Grinnell’s endowment and administrative salaries climb to record levels.”

Many other Grinnell employees receive annual cost-of-living adjustments. Data from the National Center for Educational Statistics, part of the Department of Education, show that in the last three years, faculty members have received a 4.4% yearly increase on average. Since 2012, President Kington has received an average annual raise of $20,100, or 3.3%. The total cost to the college of raising wages to $9.60 is expected to be $19,000.

Grinnell recently raised the main wage across campus to $9.00 from $8.50. Sam Xu, UGSDW treasurer, worries this will encourage dining hall workers to leave for work elsewhere on campus. “There’s already a persistent problem of understaffing. I worry that without a wage adjustment for dining workers, we’ll see longer lines and more closed venues.”

Read more about UGSDW’s contract fight.

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