Presentation on theme: "LIVING WAGE AT DUKE UNIVERSITY HOW IT WAS ACHIEVED, WHAT IS HAS ACCOMPLISHED, and WHETHER CHAPEL HILL CAN LEARN FROM IT."— Presentation transcript:
LIVING WAGE AT DUKE UNIVERSITY HOW IT WAS ACHIEVED, WHAT IS HAS ACCOMPLISHED, and WHETHER CHAPEL HILL CAN LEARN FROM IT
MANAGER INTERVIEWS How does living wage work at Duke? Living wage is only given to full- time employees Even though they cannot give a living wage to everyone, managers try to make sure that they can give everyone at least nearly comparable benefits Is the policy successful? Is it helping people? It allows the managers to be more selective It improves worker productivity in some cases Not all workers work harder It does allow people to afford better lives Compensate for increase in budget by raising prices, changing menus, but offset these problems by improving service an productivity.
M ANAGER INTERVIEWS Is the policy successful? Is it helping people? Yes… It allows the managers to be more selective It improves worker productivity in some cases It does allow people to afford better lives No… Not all workers work harder Compensate for increase in budget by raising prices, changing menus Maybe… offset budget increases problems by improving service an productivity.
JEFF POTTER: D IRECTOR - REAL ESTATE DurhamCAN “pressured” Duke to raise the bar for their contracted workers, such as Panda Express, McDonalds, vendors, Sitar, and Alpine Bagel. Contracted FULL TIME workers had to be paid at least $10/hour and must be offered health care benefits. This does not include part time workers and also raises the question about what happens to these workers during the summer. Not really a big difference in work ethic. Can Duke help until the burden became too heavy to bear? Is that ethical? Duke thought it could just absorb the cost, but it’s becoming more difficult to do, because of the financial climate.
J EFF P OTTER : D IRECTOR - R EAL E STATE No difference in work ethic. Duke is having trouble absorbing the costs of the living wage. Only full- time workers receive the living wage.
RAFEAL PEREZ- M C D ONALD ’ S M ANAGER Work ethic did not improve in all cases, but he has more discretion in hiring. It does not improve people’s overall economic situation, but it does allow them to have more comforts than they have otherwise. Living wage is sufficient for families, but it is too high for single workers without dependents. Living wage has caused McDonald’s to raise its prices, but they have balanced that by changing the menu.
A RMADILLO G RILL M ANAGER “We don’t have turnover… it’s very uncommon to find a job that pays you that much,” Thinks living wage is high enough On whether living wage improves work ethic: “I think there are employees who make a certain amount and then they learn to earn it,” Works to balance compensation for employees who aren’t full time and don’t earn living wage, through employee partners and benefits
ORGANIZER INTERVIEWS HOW DID THEY ACHIEVE A LIVING WAGE? Community involvement Dedicated leadership Commitment to the cause Worker involvement Non- adversarial negotiation
LAURA GRATTAN- DUKE ORGANIZER “Academic Institutions are unique- they have private interests and a public mission.” “Organizing the political will on campus was the biggest challenge. Even the best institutions aren’t just going to hand things out.” “We had struggles in organizing employees, people. It is hard to make people feel like they have a voice.”
ORIN STARN- DUKE PROFESSOR “People who work 8 hours a day deserve to make a wage that they can live on. It is very concrete and there are few who could disagree. Duke administrators themselves believed in a living wage.” “It passed because we had successful social motivation and a few really committed people.”
E DGAR M KRTCHIAN “We started by identifying the need, and then we had a back and forth with administrators.” “We got Durham CAN and community leaders involved.” “It was collaborative rather than adversarial.”
E MPLOYEE I NTERVIEWS - O UR I NTERPRETATIONS Living wage is enough for an individual to live on, but is not enough for those with dependents unless there is a supplemental income. Living wage does not really improve worker productivity. A lot of employees are not receiving the living wage because they are not full time. However, it is pulling part- time wage rates up.
H ILDA C HAVEZ - P ANDA E XPRESS Has worked for 2-3 months Came because of living wage, heard through her friends. Is not earning living wage yet, but will. She is currently making around $9/hour She thinks that the living wage is high enough She said her work ethic didn’t increase, because she is already hard-working
THE LOOP- D IMITIRI S KIBA, J VONNE S INGLETARY Dimitri is not receiving the living wage because he is not a full time employee, but Jvonne is They both are making enough to live on as single people with no dependents They say the living wage has not increased applications “It obviously helps pay bills and the rent. I wouldn’t be able to stay at my place without it,” said Dimitri (of his nearly- living wage) “I think when you get paid more, you work harder,” said Dimitiri Dimitri lives in Carborro, Jvonne lives in Durham Led to a $1 price increase in most Loop items
ARMADILLO GRILL Her husband has a job, supplies supplemental income Has one daughter who lives in Guatemala, room with a coworker and her husband Previously worked at McDonald’s for $6 an hour More money allow her to send money back to her daughter, buy Avon products
F ELIX C OLIN - M C D ONALD ’ S E MPLOYEE Has made the living wage for the past six months, prior to that made $8.15/ hour Works two jobs, 70 hours a week Has three kids and a wife, makes enough money to support them and to buy his kids gifts and toys Used to need to work more, now he could work less than 70 hours a week if he wanted to
DUKE STUDENTS Most the students we talked to support the living wage, but some oppose it. Some students are uncomfortable with a large tuition increase, but most are willing to give up some privileges and to deal with some price increases. “I think that it’s good when big universities pave the way for policies,” Kyle Ragins, Graduate Student Sharon Lee, President of Christians on Campus, “would accept a sacrifice of other student privileges such as free printing and activities”
K YLE R AGINS, G RADUATE S TUDENT Supports a living wage, but thinks that a downside maybe Duke hiring less employees as a result Agrees with paying higher tuition but seemed reluctant Thoughts on Duke having a living wage: “Big Universities that have endowments, and have a lot of leeway to set liberal policies in terms of wages and benefits for their employees, set standards for the private industry at large. I think that it’s good when big universities pave the way for policies that they might not have thought of...that they think might occur in the market naturally because they don’t have the same profit incentives because they are nonprofit organizations but still have a lot of money”
S UNNY AND M ICHAEL SOPHOMORES AT D UKE They both support the living wage Michael said “most of the minimum wage in North Carolina does not cover a decent living expense” would be willing to pay a small increase in tuition to support living wage Michael said “I would be skeptical about how much of the increased tuition actually goes toward the living wage.” Duke having a living wage shows progressive thinking Supports implementing a living wage in other Universities that has to means to
S HARON L EE P RESIDENT OF C HRISTIANS ON C AMPUS supports the idea of a living wage agrees with Duke’s established wage ($10.38) supports indexing “would accept a sacrifice of other student privileges such as free printing and activities” Living wage in Chapel Hill? Orange County? It might be more necessary in areas with greater poverty levels or a greater proportion of jobs at minimum wage
A MANDA Y U - F RESHMAN Supports living wage Thinks Duke is doing a good job Does not have a problem with tuition increase
A NONYMOUS STUDENT Does not support living wage The Living Wage “raises prices and transfers those higher prices to consumers, who in a competitive state will go elsewhere to purchase goods and services.” “Food prices at Duke's campus have increased tremendously. The Loop costs far too much for what you get. This is not fair to students who have to pay such high prices. It forces them to go elsewhere.” Supports indexing of wages “Tuition is very expensive and I don't want to pay more. I would be ok if people offered to have part of their tuition go to workers, but not increasing tuition further.” Against LWO in Chapel Hill and Orange County “The drastic change will cause terrible problems especially for local businesses who cannot support such high wages as easily as can big box corporations.”
T HE L IVING W AGE AND O RANGE C OUNTY Administrators support the idea in theory, but not everyone thinks that it is workable in the real world.
M ARGARET W OOD C ANNELL E XECUTIVE D IRECTOR OF THE H ILLSBOROUGH /O RANGE C OUNTY C HAMBER OF C OMMERCE “While I am certainly in support of a living wage, I am not in favor of a living wage ordinance. First of all, I feel that a living wage ordinance is almost impossible to enforce, if not illegal.” The market is supposed to set prices
L EAH O STER -K ATZ S ECOND YEAR, MASTERS PROGRAM AT THE S CHOOL OF S OCIAL W ORK AT UNC C HAPEL H IL “It is important that the Town of Chapel Hill set an example for all employers by adopting a Living Wage Policy.” Raise wage floor to $15.31 per hour Adopt an indexing policy Incrementally increase the wage floor until the town is paying all employees a wage equivalent to the current housing wage Include part-time, contracted, and employees who work non-standard work weeks. Fewer families dependent on tax funded social service programs. Without a second job, families can spend more time at home Residents can establish credit and invest in the local economy of Chapel Hill.
W HAT D OES UNC T HINK A BOUT THE L IVING W AGE ? A lot of people did not really know what it was, and when they found out were supportive but with reservations, because they did not know if it was economically feasible. Most people think that the idea of paying everyone a living wage is good in theory, if it can be made economically sustainable.
B O Z HANG Knew a basic definition of the living wage He thinks he supports living wage “UNC has a higher cost of living compared to other areas.” (If it led to a tuition hike) “I think it would be hard, but I think that if people understood what the living wage was for it would be good.”
A LEX W ONNELL “I would say most people would support a living wage when they first hear about it, but obviously I don’t really know like directly how that would affect the rest of the economy, you know, if that is actually financially possible…it might just be financially impossible.” Is not opposed to living wage, but would like to investigate whether it is financially practical
A NONYMOUS Somewhat familiar with living wage “It’s a nice idea, but it’s not economically feasible.” Said that the living wage would lead to unemployment Said that a living wage would lead to an increased tuition, which he does not support “If you go from I think $5.75 to $15 dollars an hour you know, all of a sudden you’re paying almost three times as much for a single employee, so to combat that companies are going to try to cut a third, two-thirds of their employees down.”
C ONCLUSIONS Most people support the idea of a living wage, but many have reservations about its economic feasibility Employees are able to live better on the living wage, and can work less hours. Sometimes it improves their work ethic, but not always. Managers can be more discriminate in hiring with the living wage, but they must increase their prices to cover it. Duke is paying for the increase in wages by charging less in rent- this could lead to tuition increases for Duke students in the long run.